As they do every winter, volunteers have been counting sightings of whales in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary waters.
More than 650 volunteers gathered data from the shores of Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii Island during the most recent segment of the 2013 count, a yearly shore-based census that provides snapshot data on humpback whales. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals’ surface behavior during the survey.
This year’s final Sanctuary Ocean Count session is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 30. For more information on becoming a volunteer, visit sanctuaryoceancount.org or hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov, or call 1-888-55-WHALE, ext. 253.
Volunteers collect data from 57 sites statewide. Preliminary data detailing whale sightings by site location is available at: http://www.sanctuaryoceancount.org/resources.
The sanctuary, which is administered by a partnership of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the state through the Department of Land and Natural Resources, protects humpback whales and their habitat in Hawaiian waters, where they migrate each winter to mate, calve and nurse their young.