The annual Great Whale Count brings volunteers together to count whales from shore as part of a long-term survey of humpback whales in Hawaii. This event provides a snapshot of trends in relative abundance of whales and is one of the world’s longest-running citizen scientist projects.
There are 12 survey sites along the shoreline of Maui, offering a chance to spend time at a favorite spot or to explore a new part of the island. Participants receive a brief training from a Site Leader in the morning and then spend half a day counting whales and observing behaviors during timed scans. Site Leaders record data from their volunteers throughout the event. Our research team tallies the results from all the sites and releases the numbers immediately following the count.
The Great Whale Count takes place during the annual Maui Whale Festival. Upcoming dates are Saturday, January 25, 2020, Saturday, February 29, 2020, and Saturday, March 28, 2020. Online registration for the Great Whale Count opens on December 15, 2019, and you must create an account on MyVolunteerPage to register for this event.