May 8, 2018
Humpback Whale Migration
Have you ever been for a really-long swim?
Well, maybe not as long as a Humpback Whale, like many other animals on our beautiful planet, Humpback Whales embark on one of the longest mammal migrations in the WORLD! The migration takes place every year and sees them travel a distance of 10 000 km that’s a lot of laps at the Husky Sea pool!
After spending the summer months feeding in the cool krill and nutrient rich waters of the Antarctic. While cool oceans create an abundance of food for whales, you must have tough skin to survive and thrive in these conditions. Whilst adult Humpback Whales are well adapted with a thick layer of blubber, fresh new babies are not. Newborn calves would not survive the harsh conditions, so they must be born in warmer waters.
On the northern migration pregnant females are in a hurry to give birth and are often escorted by other females and interested males, we see are seeing an increasing number of whales passing Jervis Bay and along the East Coast of Australia every year. On their way to warm waters Humpbacks give birth and breed, relax and socialise! – Sounds alright to me!
Once the newborn calves are fattened up, mothers guide their young back to the southern waters of Antarctica to have a well- earned feed! When making a return journey Humpbacks tend to be fairly relaxed, resting and teaching the young ones all the moves. This is one of the BEST times to come whale watching in Jervis Bay with LOTS of breaching, pec and tail slapping and playful action right INSIDE Jervis Bay.
Many different species of whales migrate every year and some have different migratory routes that have been travelled for thousands of years. Humpbacks in the Southern Hemisphere travel up the East and West coast of Australia, New Zealand, South America and Africa with up to 8 sub species known to scientist.
These migratory routes are learned by each generation and passed on to the next- a bit like their song- that’s a whole other story!