(London Guardian) I have yet to go whale watching but I’ve heard that the proximity to such vast, awesome, powerful creatures can bring one close to tears.

This is unlikely to have been the experience of researchers at the British Antarctic Survey, who have been busy watching whales from space. But their pilot study, published today in PLoS ONE, shows that satellite imagery could be an incredibly powerful tool in whale conservation.

The researchers have used a high-resolution image from the WorldView-2 satellite to count southern right whales over a 113 km2 area of Golfo Nuevo in Argentina. “This is an ideal location to evaluate our methods because every year, from July to November, whales concentrate in high densities to calve and mate,” they write.

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