Saturday, 5 March 2016

Rare Albino Whale found off the Mexican pacific coast

Whale now come in Albino! lol. A unique albino grey whale has been spotted off the coast of Mexico's Pacific. Marine biologists from the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) captured footage of the magnificent, white mammal swimming with her normal-colored calf during an annual census off the coast of Baja California.

The white whale, which actually belongs to the grey whale species, or Eschrichtius robustus, has been given the nickname Gallon of Milk. Gallon of Milk was first spotted during the 2008/09 season as a juvenile with characteristics of albinism, hence the name. The whale and her calf were sighted in the area known as Isla Alambre, in la Laguna Ojo de Liebre.

The calm waters between the coast of the province of Manabi, Ecuador and La Plata Island are a very popular mating site for Humpback whales.  Between the months of June and November, these cetaceans move towards the equator from the colder waters of the poles every year to mate or raise their young.  Whale watching is an amazing activity that can be enjoyed in this area of the Ecuadorian coast, where you are guaranteed to see these large mammals breaching.   Breaching refers to the whale behavior of throwing two-thirds or more of their bodies out of the water and splashing down on their backs.  Humpback Whales breach during mating season as courtship rituals and also to liberate their bodies from parasites.

Albinism is a genetic disorder caused by mutations, resulting in a reduction or complete absence of the pigment melanin. This condition has been recorded in different mammals, birds and reptiles, both in wildlife and in captivity. However, there are few documented records of albino marine mammals.

Studies have been conducting biological monitoring of the Biosphere Reserve El Vizcaino for 20 years. They have recorded the annual migration of grey whales off the coast of the Mexican Pacific during mating and reproduction period.

The seventh census which was carried out this season, had it that 2,211 specimens of grey whales were seen in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon in the Biosphere Reserve El Vizcaino. Of these, 1,004 correspond to calves born in Mexico. The monitoring activities carried out by CONANP have documented the successful recovery of grey whale populations, ensuring the survival of this species for future generations.

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