Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tag on, Tag off

A nice, successful tagging event and a good day overall. We had a long encounter with a group of pilot whales. During this time we successfully placed a suction-cup DTAG on a pilot whale. It was a good solid 'stick' by the tagger, Daniel Webster.  The tag stayed on for the pre-determined time of an hr.  After that hour, it properly released (when the whale was next to the boat, of all places). We easily picked it up in a net, downloaded the data and there are some nice pilot whale communication whistles, which we will upload to the blog in a day or so.  This was the first successful attachment of this new DTAG3v.2. Super exciting for us!  All parts worked. It also helps confirm the likely malfunction of the previous tag (that the release and recording programs on the tag were likely reset when the tag was caught was between two whales bumping into each other). 

Daniel about to put the DTAG on the pilot whale. (Photo: T. A. Mooney
permit # 15530 to CRC)
In addition to this awesome event, we also placed the towfish in the water near five Feresa attenuata (pygmy killer whales) and recorded some cool echolocation clicks from a species rarely studied. All in all, a great day for the project.

Max proudly recovering the tag.

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