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ICELANDIC WHALE MIGRATION PATTERNS

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 14:39

Whales are migratory animals, meaning they have two places they live in during the year, a feeding ground and a mating ground. Colder climates are generally richer with food and warmer climates more appropriate to birth calves and breed. Most of Iceland's whales will migrate south in winter, which means that the whales we see on our tours here in the summer could be seen in places like South-America in winter! 

This is not true for all whales, but as our research shows, some seem to be staying in the same area year round. They are likely to be older females or non-sexully mature males that don't have the instinct or need to breed.

We still need to find out where exactly the whales migrate to once they leave Iceland for the winter (if they do at all). With our photography efforts on board our vessels in Iceland, as well as our collaboration with Flukebook, we are already getting our first clues - and may even have a match from overseas!
 
By joining our own data, we are finding out that more and more humpback whales seem to be travelling between Reykjavík and Akureyri! As an example, one of our unnamed whales (MN19042300) was seen in Reykjavík in April and May of 2019 and again in Akureyri in June 2019! Learn more.