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Satellite Tracking

Why did animal X stop transmitting?

Gulf of Maine humpback whale satellite tagging project: 2012

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
Ampersand Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-272012-08-0610
Apostrophe Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-212012-08-0919
Aswan Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-282012-08-1821
Circuit Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-282012-08-1114
Crystal Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-302012-08-023
Ember Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-172012-10-0681
Eruption Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-142012-07-140
Midnight Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-302012-10-2082
Mirror Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-212012-08-3141
Perseid Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-122012-07-131
Pogo Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-122012-07-120
Pumba Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-312012-10-2283
Stub Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-122012-08-0928
Tectonic Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-142012-08-1734
Ventisca Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-142012-08-2946
Walrus Humpback WhaleAdult2012-07-270000-00-00

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.

SEATURTLE.ORG collaborates with Argos to help scientists and conservationists manage and analyse their valuable animal tracking data.

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