DroneXL.co
Drones help researchers study blue whales’ foraging strategy

Drones help researchers study blue whales’ foraging strategy

Drones help researchers from Oregon State University study blue whales’ foraging strategy at the ocean’s surface in New Zealand.

Blue whales’ foraging strategy studied with help of drones

Michelle Klampe from the Oregon State University writes for the News Times that:

“People think about whales having to dive deep to get to the densest prey patches, but if they can find their prey in shallow waters, it’s actually more energetically profitable to feed near the surface,” Leigh Torres, an assistant professor and director of the Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna Laboratory at OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute, said. “In this population of whales in New Zealand, they foraged more in areas where their prey was dense and shallow. Their dives were relatively short, and they were feeding more at the surface, which requires less energy.”

The findings were published today in the journal PeerJ. Co-authors of the study include Dawn Barlow, a doctoral student in Torres’ lab; Todd Chandler, who captured drone footage used in the study; and Jonathan Burnett of OSU’s Aerial Information Systems Laboratory.

Using a drone, the researchers captured video of a blue whale surface feeding on a patch of krill. The footage illustrates a blue whale’s feeding process, including decision-making about whether or not to eat patches of krill near the ocean’s surface. The video, which was first shared publicly shortly after the research trip, went viral online. It also gave researchers another source of data to describe surface feeding behavior.

“This footage highlights the value of using drones for study and observation of whales,” Torres said. “Drone footage could be a good complement to data collected from tags for studying surface behaviors of whales.”

You can read the entire article here or click these links to learn more about how drones are used in research and capture wildlife.

 

Flying drones as a career?

If you want to turn your hobby into your career, practice how to fly your drone safely, and learn what it takes to get your Part 107, be sure to check out the excellent training modules from The Drone U.

 

DroneU Marketing Banner Ad 1

Stay in touch!

If you’d like to stay up to date with all the latest drone news, scoops, rumors, and reviews, then follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or…

Subscribe to our Daily Drone News email.*


 

Submit tips If you have information or tips that you would like to share with us, feel free to submit them hereSupport DroneXL.co: You can support DroneXL.co by using these links when you make your next drone purchase: Adorama, Amazon, B&H, BestBuy, eBay, DJI, Parrot, and Yuneec. We make a small commission when you do so at no additional expense to you. Thank you for helping DroneXL grow! FTC: DroneXL.co uses affiliate links that generate income.

* We do not sell, share, rent out or spam your email, ever. Our email goes out on weekdays around 5:30 p.m.

Haye Kesteloo

Add comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.