Drone captures rare images of bowhead whales

By Reuters - October 27, 2016

Researchers in Canada’s far north have captured rare images of bowhead whales, one of the world’s largest and longest-living mammals.

The drone footage was taken over Cumberland Sound, near the Arctic Circle, so University of British Columbia scientists could study the animals’ social behavior patterns, population, feeding habits and ages.

The conservation group WWF says bowheads (Balaena mysticetus) can live to more than 100 years and average 50-60 feet (15-18 meters) in length. It estimates their population at about 10,000.

Like other large whales, they are threatened by habitat loss, toxins and climate change, as well as oil and gas exploration and increased shipping in Arctic waters.

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