History: Exploring Climate Events and Human Development Annual
many of our ancestors migrated with the seasons, most human beings
today have adapted to seasonal variability by changing their wardrobe
and augmenting their shelter. But, flora and fauna respond in
different ways to the climatic fluctuations of the seasons.
cycles drive many patterns of plant and animal behavior. For example,
the migration of the White-Rumped Sandpiper from the North Atlantic
seaboard in the Northern Hemisphere to the tip of South America
and back again. (Visit the Western
Atlantic Shorebird website to view maps of other migrating
Many marine mammals
follow an annual migration that may include mating and birthing
cycles. See the observed sightings from NOAA
National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS) that are listed by months
Pacific ocean temperatures are at their coldest, Gray Whales
begin their migration south to Baja, California through February.
gull migrations begin. This month is also the peak of the southern
migration of gray whales, Gulf
of the Farallones NMS off the coast of San Francisco, California.
sharks school around the East and West Flower
Garden Banks, until early April off the Gulf Coast of
the Atlantic, Northern Right Whales return to Cape Cod Bay
and to the southern end of the Stellwagen
Bank NMS to feed on early bloom of copepods in mid January.
Northern Right Whales calve off the coast of Georgia and North
Whales annual migration north to Alaska begins from around
Baja California and continues through May.
digging season commences and peak Elephant Seal pupping and
mating season, Gulf of the Farallones NMS, California.
seal pupping season at Ano Nuevo and Point Piedras Balanca
beaches in Monterey
Seal pupping season. Peak of the northern Gray Whale migration.
Cow-calf pairs can be seen near shore through July,
Gulf of the Farallones NMS and Monterey Bay NMS, California.
Atlantic waters warm, Humpback Whales return to the Stellwagen
Bank NMS off the coast of Boston from the Caribbean, including
the Silver Bank Humpback Whale Sanctuary in the Dominican
Republic. The Humpbacks feed on large numbers of sand lance
that congregate on Stellwagen Bank.
Whales sighted in the
Channel Islands NMS off the coast of Santa Barbara, California
Whales and Minke Whales arrive in the Channel Islands NMS
to feed from the nutrient rich upwellings, remaining through
lion pupping season, through July on San Miguel Island in
Channel Island NMS, California.
of all kinds are abundant in California's coastal waters as
the oceanic season begins and upwelling winds start to calm
through early November in the Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell
Bank, and Monterey Bay NMS.
Whales court and calve in Fagatele
Bay NMS in American Samoa- August through October.
and Humpback Whales return from Mexico and Hawaii to their
summer feeding grounds at Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell
Bank NMSs, California. Through October.
Murre chicks have fledged and are following their dads around
the sanctuary learning how to catch food. Gulf of the Farallones
and Cordell Bank NMSs, California, through September.
shark season at the Farallon Islands as Elephant Seals start
to concentrate at haul out sites through November in Gulf
of the Farallones NMS, California.
Salmon start their spawning migration up the Sacramento River
system in California through September in Northern Monterey
Bay and Gulf of the Farallones NMSs.
coral spawning cruise in the Flower Garden Banks NMS off the
Texas Gulf coast. Each year 8 nights after the full moon in
August between the hours of 8-9 pm, several species of coral
release their gametes, causing an underwater snowstorm. Recreational
divers first discovered and reported this phenomenon in the
Atlantic corals within the sanctuary in 1990.
of the palolo, a marine worm which ejects its motile gametophores
approximately one week after the full October moon in Fagatele
Bay NMS in American Samoa.
northern Pacific waters chill, Humpback Whales begin arriving
in Hawaii for birthing and mating. (Past sightings of a singular
mother/calf pod have occurred in October)
last month of peak White Shark sightings in the South Farallon
Islands, Gulf of the Farallones NMS, off the coast of San
Seal pupping season on San Miguel Island in the Channel Islands
NMS off the coast of Santa Barbara, California.
Whales begin their southern migration through Gulf of the
Farallones NMS and northern portion of Monterey Bay NMS, California.
Right Whale calve off the Georgia and Northern Florida Coasts.
begins to spawn in San Francisco and Tomales Bays, Gulf of
the Farallones NMS, California.
Seal pupping season in the Gulf of the Farallones NMS, California
through March. Also, Northern Fur Seals migrate and concentrate
offshore, approximately 1 Fur Seal per square kilometer.
water fowl migrate southward. 100,000's of ducks and geese
rest and feed in the lagoons and estuaries in the Gulf of
the Farallones NMS and northern portion of the Monterey Bay