27 Jun 2011:
Right Whales Return
To New Zealand After 100 Years
A new study shows that a small number of southern right whales have returned to their ancestral New Zealand breeding grounds
more than a century after the species was hunted to local extinction. Using
Oregon State University
A southern right whale
DNA profiling, researchers determined that seven whales are now migrating between sub-Antarctic islands and the bays of mainland New Zealand, where thousands of whales used to birth and raise calves before whalers extirpated them. According to historical records, as many as 30,000 of the right whales once migrated to the region, where they could be seen from the shoreline as they slapped their tails and breached almost entirely out of the water. “The protected bays of New Zealand are excellent breeding grounds, and I suspect we may soon see a pulse of new whales following the pioneers, to colonize their former habitat,” said Scott Baker of Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute. The findings were published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.