Natal origin of Namibian grey whale implies new distance record for in-water migration
Congratulations to Professor Rus Hoelzel on his recent research published in Biology Letters which also features in several news articles!
We use genomics to identify the natal origin of a grey whale found in the South Atlantic, at least 20 000 km from the species core range (halfway around the world). The data indicate an origin in the North Pacific, possibly
from the endangered western North Pacific population, thought to include only approximately 200 individuals. This contributes to our understanding of Atlantic sightings of this species known primarily from the North Pacific,
and could have conservation implications if grey whales have the potential for essentially global dispersion. More broadly, documenting and understanding rare extreme migration events have potential implications for the
understanding of how a species may be able to respond to global change.
Image by S Golaski.
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