The Australian Geographic Society has offered to sponsor the research efforts of SouWEST! The support of Australian Geographic will allow us to run the 2012 field season in Geographe Bay monitoring the movements and behaviour of blue and humpback whales migrating through the area.
This funding will further the much needed cetacean research in Geographe Bay. Iconic cetacean species, such as blue, humpback, southern right, and minke whales are listed internationally as high priority species for conservation due to their vulnerable/endangered status. These whales use Southwestern Australia for migrating, resting, and/or calving each year. Geographe Bay is also one of the few locations where blue whales can be observed from land, often swimming within a few hundred meters of shore. SouWEST aims to examine how baleen whales use the bay, and identify potentially critical habitats for these species. We endeavour to secure the long-term future of these whales by improving the scientific foundation for conservation management and species protection within the region. Australian Geographic sponsorship will make a significant contribution to this vital research.
The Australian Geographic website has run a story on SouWEST and the blue whales of Geographe Bay: “The Mysterious Lives of Blue Whales“