Researchers who recently discovered a population of blue whales off the coast of New Zealand are also learning how climate change may affect their survival.
The newly discovered blue whale population is genetically distinct from other blue whale populations and spends much of its time in the South Taranaki Bight , which is between New Zealand’s North and South Islands.
So far the researchers have learned that the whales aren’t moving around at random and that the same ocean patterns that determine where the whales go are also determining where their prey is located.
Warmer ocean temperatures have been affecting ocean properties — which in turn have lessened the whale’s food supply.
The researchers are hoping to find out further reasons why the whales choose their locations and how they respond to changing ocean conditions so that they can better understand how to protect them from both the changing climate and human impacts.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef, we think this is exciting stuff. We love discovering new things about the ocean and the beautiful animals that live in it.
The more we can learn about our environment and how we as humans are affecting it … the better chance we have at creating a safer world for all living things.
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What do you think we should do to protect these unique blue whales? Leave a comment below!
(Cover image: Chase Dekker/Shutterstock)