Researchers are on a quest to document whales and other endangered marine species living around the Mascarene Plateau.
Mascarene Plateau, Indian Ocean: Over two weeks at sea, the scientists spotted pilot whales and spinner dolphins, orcas, and more. But not a single sperm whale had crested the choppy waters of the western Indian Ocean. Then, an underwater microphone picked up a series of unmistakable clicks and squeaks. A large pod of endangered whales was nearby. And from the sound of it, they were feeding. The scientists are on a month-long quest to document whales and other marine mammals living around the Mascarene Plateau, hoping to bolster arguments for protecting the remote 2,000-km underwater ridge to both fight climate change and protect ocean wildlife.