Marine Mammal Institute researchers who recently discovered a population of blue whales in New Zealand are learning more about the links between the whales, their prey, and ocean conditions that are changing as the planet warms.
In an interview last night with KGW8, Dr. Leigh Torres discussed her research on the health of gray whales off the Oregon coast. Dr. Torres and her team found that, overall, the whales’ body condition deteriorated after three years of poor upwelling conditions.
Three years of “health check-ups” on Oregon’s summer resident gray whales shows a compelling relationship between whales’ overall body condition and changing ocean conditions that likely limited availability of prey for the mammals, a new study from Oregon State University indicates.
The USFWS has awarded a grant to the nonprofit group Elakha Alliance to launch a feasibility study for possible reintroduction of sea otters to the Oregon coast. A newly published study by Dominique Kone in the Marine Mammal Institute found there is suitable habitat to support around 4,500 resident sea otters. Kone cautioned that wildlife managers would have to consider a range of overlapping human uses.
Nearly 10,000 Oregonians have purchased gray whale license plates since they went on sale a year ago, providing critical support for Oregon State University researchers studying gray whales that frequent Oregon’s waters.
Using drones deployed in the air and GoPros underwater, Oregon State University marine ecologist Leigh Torres recently completed her fourth field season documenting previously unseen behaviors of gray whales – and gathering their poop – off the Oregon coast.
Guest columnist Dr. Caren Braby discusses regulatory efforts to reduce whale entanglements in crab fishing gear, which includes a partnership between ODFW, Oregon Sea Grant, and OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute to gather information about whales in Oregon waters.
Scientists at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute have pioneered new ways of documenting these incredible whale defecation events with aerial drones. Leigh Torres, an OSU MMI marine ecologist, is a specialist in this field who has helped capture illuminating views of gray whales for several years.
Dr. Bruce Mate and Dr. Leigh Torres will be among the speakers at the Whale Trail Interpretive Sign Dedication and Community Celebration at Don Davis Park in Newport, Saturday, August 11. The Whale Trail network of viewing sites helps to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and the marine environment.
"Whales are very acoustic animals, so we assume that a lot of the cues they get about where food is located are based on sound," said Leigh Torres, a marine ecologist at Oregon State University in Newport and collaborator on the research project.
The Department of Conservation will carefully review a study which has described a constant underwater racket created by seismic airguns. In a new blog post, US scientists Dr Leigh Torres, of Oregon State University, and Dr Holger Klinck, of Cornell University, have aired their concerns over the oil and gas industry's use of the instruments, which they say are having a harmful impact on marine life.