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Researchers track remote populations using satellites

More than 70 percent of the world is covered by the ocean: a large, deep wilderness of water. But researchers…

More than 70 percent of the world is covered by the ocean: a large, deep wilderness of water. But researchers find ingenious ways to study their secrets – without even getting their toes wet.

Researchers use extremely high resolution satellite images to track different species of whales as they move around the world. By screening through seven images that stretched the size of Delaware, they could map choices like swimming near Hawaii, Mexico, Argentina and Italy. They published their findings in the journal Marine Mammal Science .

Many puppy populations have been destroyed by commercial whaling, and it can be difficult for researchers to figure out how well they recover. “It’s a big problem trying to count the whales,” says the author and University of Cambridge Whale Ecologist Hannah Cubaynes told BBC.

Whales live in all seas and swim wide distances in everyday life. Excursions to visit potential venues can be long, costly and sometimes just too dangerous, making the creatures difficult to follow. “Boats and planes can not go everywhere,” said Cubaynes.

But the satellites spinning around the planet are not limited by windy weather and stormy sea-and their results are at their fingertips. The researchers used images from Maxar Technologies DigitalGlobe satellite constellation to track Southern Right Valleys Off Argentina, Finches in Pelagos Sanctuary Near Italy and France, Whales in the Waters of Hawaii and Gray Whales in the Sea Near Mexico.

The satellite images, Cubaynes said, have a resolution of about 30cm. “If you think a choice is between 1

5m and 2m 5m (82 ft), you will see it, “she admits. The whales look really grainy, but with some practice, researchers could choose features like flippers and flukes.” For the first time, we were able to see characteristics that were very distinctive for whales, “said Cubaynes.

But the technique is not without restrictions. Some species, such as fine choices, for example, were much easier to find than other e as their body color contrasts with water. On the other hand, pump whales are harder to see, partly because they splash around so much in the water.

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