Pacific Whale Foundation’s Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Catalog

Our primary study sites are in East Australia: Hervey Bay, Eden, Port Douglas, Cairns, and Whitsundays. We study the distribution and behavior of the humpback whales along the East Australia coast using a photo-identification catalog.  Photo-identification catalogs serve as a non-invasive way to gather information on the life histories of individual animals, including minimum age, site fidelity, sighting rate, and migratory movements.

The Southern hemisphere humpback whale catalog contains photographs of over 6000 individual whales obtained from platforms of opportunity, primarily whale watches.  Although we have research staff taking identification photos from these platforms, the catalog’s success also relies on donations from vessel staff and the general public.

The catalog is also used to update and maintain a history of sightings for all of our humpback whales available for adoption.