Second Aerial Survey
Making use of a nice weather gap, we were able to conduct a second aerial survey to count the southern right whales between Hermanus and Witsand, known to be the main nursery ground for the species in South Africa. This time round we counted 211 females with calves (422 individual whales) and 35 unaccompanied adults. Although the majority were seen in the De Hoop Nature Reserve as usual, many seemed to have started their general westward movement along our coast shown by an increase in numbers in areas such as Struisbaai. Many of the calves seen were of considerable size, and others still growing in preparation for their migration to their Southern Ocean feeding grounds. Stay tuned for more news as we commence our large helicopter survey, during which we photograph all right whales for individual identification, in about 2 weeks time! As always, massive thanks to Jean Tresfon, William Stephens of the De Hoop Collection Nature Reserve and AFB Overberg for their help to make this survey possible!