A whale's eye view of Antarctica
Scientists have attached cameras to unlock the mysteries of whales lives in Antarctica. The cameras have helped scientists gather information on where, when and how whales feed, their social lives, and even how they must blow hard to clear sea ice so they can breathe. Crucially, this data will enable better protection of whale feeding areas. The researchers use suction cups to attach non-invasive digital tags – which contain sensors and a 'whale cam' – onto the backs of humpback and minke whales. The camera tags stay on each whale for between 24 and 48 hours before they detach and are retrieved by scientists and reused. WWF-Australia has provided funding for three 'whale cams' to help scientists better understand critical feeding areas in the Southern Ocean and the impact of shrinking ice caused by warming sea temperatures. The research is being conducted in collaboration with scientists at the Australian Antarctic Division in Hobart and under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission's, Southern Ocean Research Partnership (IWC-SORP).