Megaptera novaeangliae

No Thumbnail Available
Scientific Name
Megaptera novaeangliae
Common Name
humpback whale
Taxa Group
Move Mode

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
  • Data package
    Data from: Australia’s east coast humpback whales: satellite tag derived movements on breeding grounds, feeding grounds and along the northern and southern migration.
    (2023-12-12) Andrews-Goff, Virginia; Gales, Nick; Childerhouse, Simon J.; Laverick, Sarah M.; Polanowski, Andrea M.; Double, Michael C.
    Background: Satellite tags were deployed on 50 east Australian humpback whales (breeding stock E1) between 2008 and 2010 on their southward migration, northward migration and feeding grounds in order to identify and describe migratory pathways, feeding grounds and possible calving areas. At the time, these movements were not well understood and calving grounds were not clearly identified. To the best of our knowledge, this dataset details all long-term, implantable tag deployments that have occurred to date on breeding stock E1. As such, these data provide researchers, regulators and industry with clear and valuable insights into the spatial and temporal nature of humpback whale movements along the eastern coastline of Australia and into the Southern Ocean. As this population of humpback whales navigates an increasingly complex habitat undergoing various development pressures and anthropogenic disturbances, in addition to climate-mediated changes in their marine environment, this dataset may also provide a valuable baseline. New information: At the time these tracks were generated, these were the first satellite tag deployments intended to deliver long-term, detailed movement information on east Australian (breeding stock E1) humpback whales. The tracking data revealed previously unknown migratory pathways into the Southern Ocean, with 11 individuals tracked to their Antarctic feeding grounds. Once assumed to head directly south on their southern migration, five individuals initially travelled west towards New Zealand. Six tracks detailed the coastal movement of humpback whales migrating south. One tag transmitted a partial southern migration, then ceased transmissions only to begin transmitting eight months later as the animal was migrating north. Northern migration to breeding grounds was detailed for 13 individuals, with four tracks including turning points and partial southern migrations. Another 14 humpback whales were tagged in Antarctica, providing detailed Antarctic feeding ground movements. Broadly speaking, the tracking data revealed a pattern of movement where whales were at their northern limit in July and their southern limit in March. Migration north was most rapid across the months of May and June, whilst migration south was most rapid between November and December. Tagged humpback whales were located on their Antarctic feeding grounds predominantly between January and May and approached their breeding grounds between July and August. Tracking distances ranged from 68 km to 8580 km and 1 to 286 days. To the best of our knowledge, this dataset compiles all of the long-term tag deployments that have occurred to date on breeding stock E1.