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Satellite Tracking

Why did animal X stop transmitting?

Gulf of Maine humpback whale satellite tagging project: 2011

A project of Center for Coastal Studies in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.

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NameSpeciesLife StageRelease DateLast LocationDays Transmitted
Buckshot Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-162011-08-0217
Colt Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-102011-08-1334
Doric Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-192011-08-0416
Epee Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-202011-08-0819
Etch-a-sketch Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-132011-08-1331
Fern Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-192011-08-0517
Fracture Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-172011-09-1257
Glo-stick Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-162011-08-0116
Jabiru Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-172011-08-2337
Jumanji Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-202011-08-1829
Nile Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-192011-08-1628
Pele Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-232011-08-2230
Putter Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-232011-08-0513
Timberline Humpback WhaleAdult2011-07-132011-11-01111
Zap Humpback Whalen/a2011-07-172011-08-0923

Click on an animal's name for maps and more information.


Satellite-monitored radio tags have yielded important information for the conservation and management of large whales. Tags provide far greater detail on large whale movements and habitat use than more traditional studies, and past tagging projects have revealed the existence of entirely unknown whale habitats. However, it is not uncommon for tags to stop transmitting within days to months of deployment, and follow-up studies on the individuals have been limited. Further work is needed to improve the scientific and conservation value of this technology.

In this study, satellite tagging and its effects are being examined among Gulf of Maine humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). This is among the best studied humpback whale populations. Its strong fidelity to particular feeding sites, long feeding ground residency and strong overlap with observer effort that are expected to result in repeated sightings of tagged animals, and a maximized resighting potential in future years. The project will also produce new information on humpback whale movement and habitat use in relation to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

Project Partners

The project is being undertaken by multi-institutional team with expertise in whale behavior, ecology, anatomy, physiology, telemetry and wound healing processes. It includes collaborators from the following institutions:

Australian Antarctic Division (AAD)

Cascadia Research Collective (CRC) .

The Marine Mammal Center (MMC) .

National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML)

Research is being performed under NOAA scientific permit #14245.

Project Sponsors

Primary research funding comes from NOAA and Exxon through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This is a project of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP).


  • The presentation of data here does not constitute publication. All data remain copyright of the project partners. Maps or data on this website may not be used or referenced without explicit written consent.
  • For more information please visit the project website.
  • If you have questions or would like to request the use of maps or data for this project please contact

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