Species fact sheet by Global Register of Migratory Species - www.groms.de
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Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)
Synonym: Megaptera longimana
Family: Balaenopteridae
Order: Cetacea
English: Humpback whale, Hump whale, Hunch, Hunchbacked whale
French: Mégaptère, Baleine à bosse, Baleine à taquet, Jubarte, Rorqual à bosse, Rorqual du Cap
Spanish: Yubarta, Ballena jorobada, Gubarte, Jorobada, Rorcual jorobado
German: Buckelwal (There's a German version of this page!)
Norwegian: Knølhval (There's a Norwegian version of this page!)
Migration: interoceanic
Regions: Caribbean Islands, East Asia, Europe, Mesoamerica, North America, North Asia, Oceania, South & Southeast Asia, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, West & Central Asia
 distributionmap of Megaptera novaeangliae 

“As do other baleen whales, humpbacks migrate towards the poles during summer. Some populations travel approxemately 10.000 kilometres, the most famous and longest migration probably being made by the Hawaii humpbacks, that travel to the Bering Strait. On this route, satellite tracking has revealed an amazing travel speed record of 150 km/day for a female with a calf (Mate et al. 1998). There is evidence, thoug, that sometimes females remain in the feeding grounds during winter (Brown et al. 1995). Systematic photo-identification of individuals, combined with genetic analysis, allows rather accurate population estimates of 10,600 individuals for the North Atlantic, potentially reflecting population growth compared to 1980 (Smith et al. 1999, Stevick et al. 1999). Between 1900 and 1940, over 100,000 humpbacks were taken by commercial whaling in the southern hemisphere alone, with northern stocks already diminishing. By 1966, finally, the species received full protection from the International Whaling Commission. It was suggested for inclusion into CMS Appendix I I 1979 (BELF 1979). Today, the species ist still threatened by entrapment in fishing nets and as a victim of bycatch.”
From: Riede, K. (2001): Global Register of Migratory Species. Weltregister wandernder Tierarten. Münster (Landwirtschaftsverlag), p. 199, containing more about whales and dolphins (l.c., pp 64-68)

Recommended link(s):

To gather more information about whales in general see the link collection at connotea.org: cetacea
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(Last update: 4.7.2007 by A. Tappenhölter)