- About PWF
- Research History
- Current Studies
- Australia Research
- Abundance, Survival, Recruitment and Realized Growth Rates
- Calving Rates and Intervals of East Australian Female Humpback Whales
- Connectivity and Interchange Between Humpback Whale Aggregation Areas along East Australia
- Dynamics of extralimital feedingby humpback whales off Eden, NSW
- PWF’s Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Catalogue
- Rate of Interchange Between East Australia and West Australia Humpback Whales
- Ecuador Research
- Hawaii Research
- Other Projects
- Australia Research
- Our Research Team
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Pacific Whale Foundation's research labs are located at our headquarters on Maui, overlooking Ma'alaea Bay. Our labs hold our library of more than 6,000 individually identified marine mammals, including humpback whales, false killer whales and dolphins. Ongoing analysis of new photoidentification data takes place in our labs year-round.
Our offices are also located just footsteps away from Ma'alaea Harbor, the departure point for many of Pacific Whale Foundation's ecotours. With our Whale & Dolphin Tracker Program, we are able to gather data from all of our vessels' sightings of whales and dolphins.
Our current research studies in Hawaii include the following. (Please click on the name of the study to review additional details.)
To understand year-round distribution of odontocetes (toothed whales and dolphins) in the four island region of Maui County using historical data collected by Pacific Whale Foundation's eco-tour vessels during regular operations.
To determine distribution and movement patterns of odontocetes as well as site fidelity and association patterns of known individuals in the four island region of Maui County waters.
To photo-identify as many false killer whales using the Maui County Four-Island Area as possible in order to understand group cohesion and stability, age structure, reproductive rates and association patterns.
Surprise encounters, i.e., where boats unexpectedly encounter humpback whales, have been on the rise in Maui waters possibly because the number of whales coming back to winter here has been increasing. Our goal is to understand if there are specific factors that influence the probability of an encounter occurring, above and beyond the increasing number of whales. Surprise encounters and near missed could also be used as proxies for ship collisions.
To develop a database of known photo-identified individuals.
To use citizen science to engage members of the public and promote environmental stewardship, while contributing toward a long-term humpback whale sighting dataset in Maui.