Saving the last western gray whales

01 October 2010 | Audio

Just over 130 western gray whales are alive today, and although the population is slowly growing, it is still on the edge of survival. A new satellite tagging project offshore northeast Sakhalin Island could bring more light to the whales' movements and contribute to the recovery efforts of scientists.

Gray whales fast during the winter, migrate huge distances in the spring and autumn and feed mostly during the summer in the waters off Sakhalin Island in the Pacific Ocean.The first-ever satellite tagging on western gray whales, which kicked off at the beginning of September 2010, will track their movements between their summer feeding grounds and hopefully tell us where they go in the autumn and spring.

Dr Randall Reeves, Chair of the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel set up in 2006, speaks about the satellite taggings, as well as the various threats the remaining 134 whales are facing.