An Extremely Rare Whale Noticed near Commander Islands


The right whale (Eubalaena japonica), an extremely rare and endangered representative of cetaceans, has been noticed in the protected water area of the Komandorsky reserve. For the first time since 2013, researchers saw three individuals for one week.

"The right whale (Eubalaena japonica) is internationally recognized as endangered and is listed in the international Red book. It is endemic to the North Pacific. According to various estimates, there are from 500 to 900 individuals left”, says the press release.

The whale’s biology is poorly explored: its breeding areas remain unknown and migration ways are poorly studied. The animals are believed to live both alone and in small groups. At the same time, all three individuals were seen in different clusters of humpback whales.

“Last time we saw right whales in 2013. Then the animals moved in a par. Such interspecies groups we have seen for the first time. It seems that it is simpler for the animals to find food this way. Working in tandem it is easier to find concentrations of zooplankton", said Deputy Director of the Komandorsky reserve Evgeny Mamaev

The Komandorsky reserve is the largest marine reserve in this country, with the protected marine area of more than three million hectares. The Commander Islands are famous for their natural resources: green hills, sand dunes, rough waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, whales, thousands of birds and huge seal and sea lion rookeries.