The Center for Whale Research was founded in 1976
to promote, conduct and support benign research on marine mammals of the
Order Cetacea - whales, dolphins and porpoises. The research method is primarily
long term (multi-year) photo-identification of individuals within populations,
which provides baseline data for demographic and behavioral studies. The
knowledge gained from these studies is provided to the scientific community,
to governments, to the public and to conservation organizations.
Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) breaching
The principle studies underway are
Orca Survey -
a long term photo-identification study of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest,
conducted continuously since 1976;
Mammal Survey - a general survey of marine mammals in the northern Bahamas,
with particular emphasis on studies of bottlenose dolphins and beaked whales,
begun in 1991;
Pacific Humpbacks - a study of
humpback whales since 1986, with other cooperating researchers, to determine
migratory patterns, stock identity and population status in the Eastern
Australian Humpbacks - a study of humpback whales, started in 1990, to estimate
the size of the recovering Western Australian humpback whale stock and to
determine the relationship of this Western Australian stock to other breeding
populations throughout the Southern Hemisphere.
Research boat with dense-beaked whales (Blainville's beaked
whale, Mesoplodon densirostris)
The Center is active with other organizations in scientifically evaluating
the feasibility of rehabilitating and safely returning selected captive
cetaceans like the killer whale Lolita
to their families and communities in their natural habitat.
Killer whale (Orcinus orca) spyhopping. This particular
orca is adult male L10,
who was estimated to be born in 1959 and is missing since 1998.