10 Facts you didn't know about Bryde's whales

There are fantastic opportunities to see endangered whales during your visit to Auckland!

1. The Bryde's whale is named after a Norweigan man called Johan Bryde who discovered the species when he helped to set up one of the first whaling stations in South Africa.

2. There are many ways of pronouncing 'Bryde's' but the correct way is 'broo-ders'.

3. They grow to around 15 metres in length and 40,000kg.

4. They are a mysterious species with few populations that are close to coastlines - scientists are not sure yet as to how many species there are in the world!

5. They are nicknamed 'the tropical whale' as they are not seen in cool waters. In New Zealand, they are only regularly seen on the North Island with the majority of sightings in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

6. Bryde's whales are also thought to be one of the only species of whale that do not move long distances (known as migrations) this means they can be seen year round in Auckland's waters.

7. Population estimates conducted in Auckland suggest that the Bryde's whales are an endangered species and so they have been given a 'Nationally Critical' status in New Zealand.

8. The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park has been shown to be an important area for mother and calf Bryde's whales.

9. Bryde's whales are able to feed on 3 different types of food - fish, krill and plankton! In the Hauraki Gulf, when they are feeding on fish they are usually seen feeding alongside common dolphins and various seabirds. If they are feeding on krill or plankton, the Bryde's whales are usually seen along with different species of shearwater and petrel feeding on the same food.

10. They are very shallow divers, spending the majority of their time in the top 10 metres of the water column. When they go for a 'long dive' this usually only lasts up to 5 minutes before resurfacing - great for whale watching!

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