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Blue whales in New Zealand prefer to hang out in cooler waters

blue_whale_sri_lanka_andrew_sutton_1

Researchers from Oregon State University studying blue whales in the South Taranaki bight, New Zealand have found a link between the whales, their feeding and changes in water temperatures.

The findings, published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, reveal how certain conditions play a part in where the whales are and availability of their prey – krill.

Using data collected during typical summer conditions in 2014 and 2017, and warmer than average conditions in 2016, the researchers found that during both warm and more typical conditions the whales would prefer to feed in areas where the water was cooler.

As seas warm, this knowledge could be used to reduce the impact on New Zealand blue whales from human activity, including offshore oil and gas exploration and production.

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