20 Feb '12, 8am

Scientists Thrilled With Rare Whale's Remarkable Journey

Scientists Thrilled With Rare Whale's Remarkable Journey

There are believed to be as few as 130 endangered western gray whales left in the waters off of the North Pacific, precariously clinging to survival in their increasingly imperiled habitat as they have for centuries -- but for one youngster, it was evidently time to move on. Last September, biologists studying the endangered species along the western coast of Asia attached a satellite tracking device to a nine-year-old gray whale they named Varvara. Researchers were hoping to gain insight into the troubled whales' migratory patterns, but what they learned instead has forced them to rethink what the species is capable of. Just months after being tagged, Varvara was discovered wading near the coast of Mexico's Baja Peninsula -- a remarkable detour for a whale not known for traveling long distances over open ocean. "It’s a scientific event - a big one," says Randall Reeves of...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/scientists-thr...

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