magazine and travel guide
magazine and travel guide
 
Visit our latest issue on virtual paper
…or see previous issues in our virtual kiosk
kiosko
 
 
 

Manual for  Wildlife watching

 

Humpback Whales

Watching wildlife is one of the most popular tourist activities in Costa Rica.

 
whale_tale_400

Wild life watching is a good activitie not only because it has very low environmental impact, but also because it serves as a direct means to educate individuals about natures intrinsic values and the importance of living in balance with ones environment. 
   
Starting with this issue, Utopia magazine will provide a simple guide for the observation of different native species.  This first edition is a manual that can be used on Humpback Whale watching tours.  This time of year is the perfect time to go spotting, as this is their breeding time in Costa Rica's North Pacific

Guide to Humpback Whale watching
This cetacean is one of the largest animals on the planet, with a length of between 49 to 55 feet and a weight between 24 and 48 tons. Instead of teeth they have rounded beards through which they filter the food, which is in taken in the form of large mouthfuls of water.  For this reason they are known as filterers. The same as all other mammals, they need to surface to breath, and this moment leads to an ideal opportunity to observe these beautiful and massive beings. 

Nourishment:  Their diet is based on schools of plankton and small fish.  When they are feeding, an interesting pattern of conduct can be observed:  they encircle schools in a curtain of bubbles so that they can then swim up with their mouths completely open and swallow the maximum amount of prey trapped in their bubble ¨net¨.
 

The Humpback Whale in Costa Rica 
 

There are two main groups of whales that visit the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.  These groups come from both the Artic and the Antarctic Oceans when the weather in the North and South is very cold.  They come seeking warmer waters to give birth to their calves and hence pleasure us with their presence on our coasts.  In spite of being a protected species, they continue to be hunted for their highly desirable grease and other byproducts such as gray amber, used to make expensive perfume.  Even though on an international scale, their population has recovered, countries such as Japan, Denmark and Norway continue in their commercial hunting practices. 

whale_400

Responsible whale watching guide:  Most countries around the world have established strict rules surrounding whale watching.  Typically,  a prudent distance of 150 meters with the motors running and between 100 to 50 meters with the motors off is respected and maintained.  There must be no more than two boats simultaneously at one location and each boat must have a capacity of ten people each.  In the event that a third boat arrives, it must wait its turn at a distance of at least 300 meters.  It is also very important not to make any loud noises as the Humpback communicate using a sophisticated assortment of sounds.  These sounds form the base of the relationship during breeding, reproduction and while raising their young.

It is also important not to follow adults with young or to get in the center of a group of whales, as this could lead to their becoming separated or distressed..

Even though the Humpback is not at all aggressive, their enormous size and weight poses a risk to humans, both when the animal is submerging and solely by the movement of their enormous and powerful fins.   These reasons, amongst others explain why it is forbidden to swim or dive near them.
 



Comments



 
Share/Bookmark

Visit our latest issue on virtual paper
…or see previous issues in our virtual kiosk
kiosko
utopia magazine and travel guide

What else would you like to see in Utopia Magazine? 






utopia
Subscribe
Things to do in Costa Rica
  
 

Golf in Guanacaste 

Tico Glossary Catalinas island 

Barra Honda Caves

Rincón de la Vieja

Diving in Guanacaste

NATURE TAMARINDO 

Marina Papagayo Medical tourism

What does Pura Vida means? 

MAPS Ecology   Culture   

Hotels in Costa Rica Birds

watching guide MarineTurtles 

Playas del Coco NationalParks 

Transportation guide 

Humpback Whales 

     

      Follow UtopiaMagazine on Twitter 

Copyright © 2010  Editorial Revista Utopia S.A. Todos los derechos reservados
Prohibido el uso de estos contenidos sin autorización por escrito de
Revista Utopia S.A.  tel (506) 2670 0625  -  (506) 8705 0999  Guanacaste - Costa Rica

magazine and travel guide