Scientists discovered that southern right whales appear to be re-colonising mainland New Zealand calving grounds from a remnant population in the subantarctic Auckland Islands. The endangered whales were rarely seen around mainland New Zealand for most of the last century. The findings are based on genetic evidence from small skin samples collected from 707 whales over more than a decade. By comparing the DNA fingerprints of individual whales, the research has confirmed genetic differences between whales around Australia and New Zealand, and provides new insight into differences in the recovery of regional populations. Photo credit: Auckland Islands Team 2009.