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The race is on to spy on Canada’s whales from space

 By Rochelle Baker  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Scientists on Canada’s coasts are exploring the use of satellites to surveil whales and other ocean “megafauna” to better monitor and protect at-risk ocean species. The rapid advance of very high-resolution (VHR) satellite imagery and dropping costs are providing conservationists with opportunities to locate, count and monitor wildlife and their critical habitat from the cosmos. The technique is especially helpful in remote areas or expanses of ocean that are difficult for scientists to access. In October, University of Ottawa researchers were the first to identify a particular endangered North Atlantic right whale (NARW) using satellite images. Newly available high-resolution images, along with ideal weather conditions, showed the large, distinctive white scar on the back of a whale named Ruffian, one of the approximately

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