Updates from our October 2017 Hawai’i Island field project

We will be undertaking a 10-day field effort off Hawai‘i Island starting October 7th, funded through a NOAA Species Recovery Grant to the State of Hawaii. This will be our second field effort off the “big island” this year (our last was in June). Our primary goal is to find and learn more about the endangered main Hawaiian Islands population of false killer whales, and to maximize our chances of finding them we are planning on launching from Kawaihae each day (see map below), rather than our typical Kona work based out of Honokohau Harbor. The area off Kohala is a high density area for false killer whales in Hawai‘i, particularly the poorly-known Cluster 2. We are hoping to deploy LIMPET satellite tags to track movements, as well as photo-identify individuals and collect biopsy samples for genetics, hormone chemistry and toxicology. As usual, we’ll be working with all species of odontocetes we encounter, trying to obtain photos for our photo-identification catalogs, as well as collect biopsy samples for other studies.
The research crew for this project will include Daniel Webster, Kim Wood, Colin Cornforth and Robin Baird, all from Cascadia, as well as a number of volunteers.
Check back on October 8th for updates from this project
The research vessel we’ll be using for this project, a 24’ Hurricane. Photo by Galen Craddock
This map shows our previous search effort during the month of October. We’ve worked off the island during the month of October in a number of years, most recently in October 2013.
Photos on this page were taken under NMFS ESA/MMPA Permit No. 20605. Please contact Robin Baird (rwbaird (at) cascadiaresearch dot org) for photo use or more information.
For updates from our prior field projects check out this page.