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Deborah Giles quoted in Mongabay article on mini baby boom in whale groups

Monday, October 11, 2021 - 16:15

Deborah Giles, research scientist at the UW Center for Conservation Biologywas quoted in an article in Mongabay on two threatened whale groups who had mini baby booms.

Two rare whale groups — southern resident killer whales in the Pacific Northwest and North Atlantic right whales — have had mini baby booms since the start of the pandemic, raising hopes about their survival prospects. 

In Washington state, home to the southern residents, for example, “there was a month or two [in 2020], from March 23 to the beginning of June, when we went on lockdown and there was no boating,” says Deborah Giles, a whale researcher at the University of Washington and the science and research director for the nonprofit Wild Orca. “But that was a blink of an eye.”

After that, she notes, boat sales actually increased and there were “many new boaters on the water that were behaving poorly around the whales.”

Read the full article on Mongabay.

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