Help identify whales with Happywhale
Scientists can only be in one place at one time. By harnessing the power of whale watching guides, naturalists, and passengers, Happywhale is able to track individual whales throughout the world’s oceans and greatly expand scientific knowledge of the different species. They do this by creating a platform where the public can share their whale encounter stories and photographs.
The primary method scientists use to measure population recovery of whales is photo-identification – whales have unique identifiable markings on their fluke (tail) and dorsal fin, which allows their movements to be tracked in a non-invasive way. By sighting individually recognisable whales, scientists can estimate population trends and assess the recovery of whale numbers from a century of intense hunting.
How to get involved:
- Visit happywhale.com to review the instructions on how to take whale ID photos. This is also the place where you will submit your whale images.
- Wait for Happywhale to run your images through their ID system built in collaboration with scientists at Cascadia Research Collective and Allied Whale.
- If Happywhale finds a match, you’ll be notified about your whale. You may even be the first contributor to identify your specific whale!
- Feel free to submit images from past whale sightings as it gives valuable historical data.
As your whale is spotted around the world, you’ll be updated. You’ll also discover how your data is being used by scientists and contributing to the understanding of the Antarctic and marine ecosystems of the world.
The volume of photographs from citizen scientists vastly surpasses scientists’ ability to manually process the images – get involved HERE.
Feature image by David Merron