- Mission & Vision
- Our Core Values
- PWF in The Media
- Board of Directors
- Social Media Outreach
- Join our Mailing List
- Contact Us
- Research History
- Our Research Team
- Research Internships
- Current Studies
- Australia Research
- Abundance, Survival, Recruitment, and Realized Growth Rates of East Australia Humpback Whales
- Calving Rates and Intervals of East Australian Female Humpback Whales
- Connectivity and Interchange Between Humpback Whale Aggregation Areas along East Australia
- Match My Whale - a Humpback Whale Fluke Identification Project
- PWF’s Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Catalog
- Rate of Interchange Between East Australia and West Australia Humpback Whales
- Ecuador Research
- Hawaii Research
- Distribution and Accumulation of Marine Debris: Implications for Cetaceans
- Great Whale Count
- Hawaiian Humpback Whale Catalog
- Odontocete Distribution, Abundance, and Life Histories.
- Social Structure of False Killer Whales in Maui Four-Island Region
- Surprise Encounters with Humpback Whales
- Whale and Dolphin Tracker
- Other Projects
- Australia Research
- Donate to Help Fund our Research
- Donate Your Whale or Dolphin Photos
- Migaloo the White Humpback Whale
- You Can Help
- Become a Member / Renew Membership
- Donate Now
- Donation Specials
- Other Ways You Can Donate
- Adopt a Whale, Dolphin, Turtle or False Killer Whale
- Whale Regatta
- Maui Whale Festival Events
- Sponsor Run & Walk for the Whales
- Sponsor World Whale Day
- Made on Maui Fair Vendor Application
- Book an Eco-Cruise
- Choose PWF
- Ocean Store
Match My Whale - a Humpback Whale Fluke Identification Project
Match My Whale, visit matchmywhale.org
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)
Australia, with planned expansions.
Using citizen science to assist our researchers with a long-term photo-ID study (see: Pacific Whale Foundation’s Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Catalog).
Motivation and Goals:
Humpback whales can be identified using photos of the underside of the flukes. Each whale has unique features, including the overall shape of the flukes, the shape of the trailing edge, any acquired scars, and natural pigmentation. With increased cataloging effort, large catalogs become cumbersome for researchers in terms of comparing incoming photographs to each cataloged individual. To identify a whale as a new individual involves comparing that whale against thousands of photos, making this task extremely time consuming.
Using citizen scientists to crowdsource our matching effort will greatly reduce the workload of our researchers and allow the public to become more directly involved with our catalog by contributing photos and assisting with the matching process.
This work is done in collaboration with the Centre for Whale Research (www.cwr.org.au).
Users go to www.matchmywhale.org, where they log in and register. They receive training material that will guide them through required tests that ensure consistency among participants.
The training and tests pertain to three major steps of the process: (1) scoring the quality of photographs, (2) classifying the pigment pattern (e.g., mostly white, mostly black, 50% white, etc.), and (3) searching the online catalog of photographs for matches.
With the recent launch of the public site, our next steps involve encouraging the public to register and use the site. With more participants, the entire process becomes more efficient and we increase the likelihood of getting accurate matches. Please note that participating in Match My Whale is not the same as donating photos to the PWF research catalog.
Most Recent Publication:
2015. Stack, S.H., Currie, J.J., Swabb, M.H., Kaufman, G.D. and Martinez, E. Evaluating citizen scientist efficacy at cataloging humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) using the crowdsourcing web application Match My Whale. Document SC/66a/SH/01 presented to the IWC Scientific Committee, San Diego, USA: 20 May – 4 June. 36 pp.