American Cetacean Society meets in Newport

The Oregon Chapter of the American Cetacean Society is having our monthly speaker series meeting on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon. The meeting will be held at the Newport Public Library, 35 NW Nye St., Newport.  The event is free and open to the public. The presentation, “Tracking humpback whales off Oregon and Washington with satellite telemetry. What have we learned?” will be given by guest speaker Daniel M. Palacios.

Knowledge of the occurrence and distribution of humpback whales off the Oregon and Washington coasts, as well as of the threats they face, is scant. Over the last four years, Oregon State University has been using satellite telemetry combined with photo I.D. and genetics to monitor humpback whale movements and dive behavior along these coasts with the purpose of identifying and characterizing habitat use and population identity. This presentation will highlight the most important results of this effort so far, which are already filling a significant knowledge gap. The new information generated by this study is critical for a number of management needs, including naval operations, fisheries interactions and improved delineation of the distinct population segments of this species that seasonally occupy waters off the west coast.

Palacios is an associate professor in the department of fisheries and wildlife at Oregon State University. Together with Bruce Mate, he co-leads the Whale Telemetry Group at the Marine Mammal Institute. Palacios’s background is in oceanography, with a primary interest in understanding the environmental factors that influence the ecology of marine megafauna in pelagic ecosystems. His current focus is on using satellite telemetry to characterize critical habitat, foraging ecology, migration and navigation in large whales. His research also addresses interactions with human activities and provides information relevant to the management and conservation of whale populations.

Also, mark your calendars for the following upcoming events:

On Saturday, Nov. 2, the society will be screening the film “Sea of Shadows,” which highlights the dangers faced in Mexico's Sea of Cortez in the fight to save the Vaquita porpoise from extinction. The event is free, but a ticket is needed as space is limited. This film is rated PG-13 so it may not be suitable for younger people. Get your free ticket by going to:

Saturday, Nov. 16, will be a speaker series meeting: “Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia.” The annual silent auction will also be held during this meeting. Proceeds help fund the Oregon chapter’s student grant program.

The American Cetacean Society protects whales, dolphins, porpoises and their habitats. The non-profit organization was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in San Pedro, Calif. Information on the ACS can be found on the website:


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