News from Near and Afar

A series of easy-to-understand articles so that you won’t miss a thing in the world of whales!

  • 2018 / 12 / 14

    Whales on the Big Screen

    Par Marie-Ève Muller / On the calendar

    The Whale Online team has compiled a list of its favourite films and TV series for a home theatre session with whale enthusiasts in mind. Classics Free Willy (1993) After vandalizing a theme park, Jes...

  • Valeria Vergara has been able to identify 28 different call types of belugas, with a particularly distinct broadband rapid pulse train type called a contact call. Mothers and calves predominantly use these calls and so do others in need of group cohesion. © GREMM 2018 / 12 / 14

    Putting a Face to a Call: Identifying Belugas Acoustically

    Par Jasspreet Sahib / Discoveries

    A herd of belugas breaks through the surface of the water as their squawks, chirps, whistles and grunts fill the surroundings below – it becomes clear why they are nicknamed “canaries of the s...

  • La population mondiale de rorquals communs serait en train de se rétablir, selon l’Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature (UICN). Toutefois, la population visitant le Saint-Laurent n’est peut-être pas tirée d’affaire//The global fin whale population is believed to be recovering, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, the population visiting the St. Lawrence may not be out of the woods just yet. © GREMM 2018 / 12 / 13

    New status for fin whales: on the road to recovery?

    Par Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Issues

    Fin whales may not be the largest of the whales, but they are certainly one of the fastest! This advantage long allowed them to escape the whaler’s harpoon, at least until the 20th century when whal...

  • Kleenex (#1142) is an adult female right whale that has been entangled for the last three years. Her condition is deteriorating, as all disentanglement efforts so far have proven unsuccessful due to lack of trailing gear. © Center for Coastal Studies, NOAA permit #18786 2018 / 12 / 11

    The Right Whale Tale: A Year-in-Review (2018)

    Par Jasspreet Sahib / Issues

    Once believed to be the “right” whales to hunt, the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) population has been plummeting for at least the last eight years. The latest estimat...

  • 2018 / 12 / 05

    Whales Stressed up to their Ears

    Par Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Discoveries

    Unlike humans, who can clean out the wax that covers their external ear canal (not with Q-tips of course!), whales remain stuck with their wax. This earwax accumulates and forms huge plugs resembling ...

  • Over the weekend, about 145 long-finned pilot whales stranded at the southern end of Stewart Island, New Zealand. Pilot whales have strong social structures and group cohesion. If a member of the pod strands, the rest of the pod might follow, resulting in a mass stranding. © Liz Carson 2018 / 11 / 28

    One Weekend; Two Mass Strandings in New Zealand

    Par Jasspreet Sahib / News from Near and Afar

    About 145 black-bodied whales laid out on a long, sandy beach when two hikers, Liz Carson and Julian Ripoll, stumbled upon them as they were heading back to their campground. There were long-finned pi...

  • Il reste moins de 30 vaquitas dans le monde//Fewer than 30 critically endangered vaquitas remain in the world now. © Paula Olson, NOAA 2018 / 11 / 19

    It’s Now or Never for the Vaquitas

    Par Jasspreet Sahib / Issues

    Latest sightings of calves bring a new hope for the cetacean that is face-to-face with extinction: the vaquita (Phocoena sinus). With less than 30 remaining individuals, collaborative conservation eff...

  • Un parasite qui infeste les chats se trouve aussi chez les bélugas du Saint-Laurent/A parasite that infests cats is also found in the St. Lawrence belugas. © GREMM 2018 / 11 / 19

    Does cat poop pose a problem for belugas?

    Par Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Discoveries

    On cat litter bags is a warning for pregnant women concerning a parasite found in cat feces. What is even more surprising is that this same parasite can also attack belugas. Close to half of all St. L...

  • Conger (BCY0728) est l’un des deux premiers rorquals à bosse que la Marine Education and Research Society a observé en train de s’alimenter par technique de piégeage, aussi appelée «trap-feeding» en 2011//Conger (BCY0728) was one of the first two humpback whales that the Marine Education and Research Society observed trap-feeding in 2011. © Marine Education and Research Society 2018 / 11 / 19

    Trap-Feeding: a New Creative Feeding Method

    Par Jasspreet Sahib / Discoveries

    Innovation often derives from need. So has been the case for humpback whales off northeastern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Humpbacks are generalist-feeders with multiple feeding strategies and ...

  • 2018 / 11 / 01

    Southern Resident Killer Whales: New Measures Announced

    Par Jasspreet Sahib / Actions

    The Government of Canada announced further actions to help protect the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKWs) on October 31, 2018. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the...