Navy-funded whale tagging off North Carolina to track pilot and Cuvier’s beaked whales

By on October 27, 2014

Pilot whale preparing to surface (Credit: Ian Carroll, via Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

For the first time, the U. S. Navy is bringing the tracking of Cuvier’s beaked whales and pilot whales to new heights — or depths.

Duke University, Cascadia Research Collective, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have teamed up under U.S. Navy auspices to learn more about the movements and behavior of the whales off North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras.

Tracked by satellite, the tags provide information on diving behavior and horizontal movements of the whales. The data has already allowed tracking over 2,000 meters below the surface. Archival digital acoustic tags will be deployed also. Tags provide 24 hours’ worth of information about the whales’ three dimensional movements and vocalizations.

Image: Pilot whale preparing to surface (Credit: Ian Carroll, via Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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