Maureen Megowan's Blog


Gray Whale Migration past Point Vicente Interpretive Center At Its Peak Now

The following article wasw published by the Los Angeles Times yesterday:

Gray whales cruising through Southland on northbound migration

"If you missed seeing the gray whales as they swam south to Baja California for the winter, now may be your chance to catch them on their way back north.

Volunteer spotters say the whales' northbound migration through Southern California is reaching a peak. Clear weather helped them count 50 gray whales cruising north past Point Vicente on Monday, their highest tally since last year's peak on March 21, when they saw 64.

"There's a big pulse going through right now," said Alisa Schulman-Janiger, director and coordinator of the American Cetacean Society/Los Angeles Chapter's Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project, which logs whale sightings from the Point Vicente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Gray whale flukes off San Pedro coast

More than 20,000 gray whales migrate each year from Arctic waters to the shallow lagoons and bays of Baja California and reverse course each spring, with the bulk cruising back through Southern California by late March.

If past trends hold true, sometime this week should be a good time to head out to look for them, according to those who keep tabs on the migratory giants.

But they warn that seeing a bunch of gray whales today is no guarantee you'll see them tomorrow.

"A group will come through and then we won't see any for a while," Schulman-Janiger said. "Sometimes the pulse is spread out over several weeks or you can have one-third of the migration in one week.

The one thing you can't do about animal behavior is predict it," she added."

 Point Vicente Interpretive Center


Located next to Point Vicente Lighthouse, the Point Vicente Interpretive Center natural history museum is an ideal whale-waching spot. It was first opened in 1984. It was greatly expanded and reopened on July 15, 2006 as an almost 10,000 square foot state of the art facility. Exhibits highlight the peninsula's geology, flora and fauna. From December to May, American Cetacean Society volunteers gather daily at the Center to conduct a census of whales passing through the Catalina Channel. The friendly American Cetacean Society volunteers are happy to talk about whales, their numbers, invite visitors to observe the Pacific Ocean, share stories and answer questions.

Open daily, 10 AM to 5 PM, year-round, with extended hours during summer. The facility is closed on January 1, Thanksgiving Day, December 24, and December 25th. The park grounds are open until dusk. Picnic areas are available. Barbecues and fires are prohibited. Dogs must be leashed.

Point Vicente Interpretive Center
31501 Palos Verdes Drive West
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
(310) 377-5370



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Comment balloon 0 commentsMaureen Megowan • March 22 2012 12:25PM


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