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Colony of humpback whales dwindling in Oman


Muscat – The colony of humpback whales has dropped below 100 in Oman’s waters, sparking fears that the species may be facing a threat of extinction.
“The humpback whales may be listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ list of species facing such a threat,” said Andro Wilson, Field Manager of the Renaissance Whale and Dolphin Research Team, Five Oceans Environmental Services.
He said the studies conducted since 2000 have revealed humpback whales in the Arabian Sea are the only one of its kind that don’t migrate on annual basis between tropical and Polar Regions.
The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) placed satellite tags on 14 humpback whales in 2014 to monitor their movements and understand their behaviour.
It was learned, they moved along the southern coasts of Oman to the east towards the Indian Ocean before appearing again on India’s shores.
Wilson said it was a big achievement to track the humpback whales in the Arabian Sea in order to understand the connection between Arabian Sea whales and the possibility of their existence in other areas.
“Satellite imagery has revealed areas of high phytoplankton productivity along the west coast of India, which is a potential indicator of where prey may be found for humpback whales,” he said.

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