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Whale expert ponders grazing Grays

Published on November 6, 2018 12:55PM

There’s nothing so unusual about visitors to the Oregon Coast falling in love with the seafood and never wanting to leave. But when those visitors are the size of a school bus, it’s time to get a zoologist involved.

Lisa Hildebrand of Oregon State University will explore the phenomenon of fine-scale foraging by Gray whales on the Oregon Coast when she addresses the American Cetacean Society this Saturday, Nov. 10, in Newport.

Gray whales along the West Coast follow a well-documented migration every year, breeding and in the lagoons of Baja, Mexico, from December through spring, before they head north to their feeding grounds in Alaska and the Arctic.

However, a small subset of this large population does not continue all the way to Alaska. Instead, they stay to feed throughout the summer in the waters off the coasts of northern California, Oregon, Washington and southern British Columbia.

Hildebrand will delve into research from Oregon State University scientists at Port Orford who are trying to figure out what causes these whales to stick around.

Hildebrand graduated from Newcastle University in the UK with a bachelor of science in Marine Zoology. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Wildlife Science at Oregon State University.

Saturday’s meeting, which is free and open to all, will start at 10 am at Newport Public Library, 35 NW Nye Street.

For more information, contact Joy Primrose at marine_lover4ever@yahoo.com or 541-517-8754.

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