Our primary research objective is to contribute to the understanding of natural behavior patterns in whales.
Whale behavior is the most fascinating, least understood, most difficult to study, and least funded area of whale research. Yet, animal behavior studies are essential to the success of ongoing research, education, management and conservation efforts. Below are some of the ways that animal behavior studies contribute to ongoing research, education, and conservation programs.
Animal Behavior Research
Behavioral studies, analyzed within the broader mammalian context, provide critical insights into the nature of whales, including how living in a marine environment may impact mammalian biology.
Management and Conservation
It is impossible to determine the impacts of human activities on whales without, first, an understanding of natural behavior patterns. Our knowledge of the behavior and social organization of whale populations is so limited that these key aspects of whale biology are rarely incorporated into management and conservation programs. Without this information, our effectiveness in protecting whales is limited.
Whale behavior captures the imagination of the public and inspires people to want to learn more about the marine environment. Since behavioral studies tend to ask the same questions that the public asks (e.g., why do whales sing? ), they become the basis for effective education and interpretation programs.
We can't protect what we don't understand
Only through a full integration of studies of population biology, genetics, ecology and behavior, and the interpretation and dissemination of this information to policy makers and the public, will meaningful management and conservation programs evolve.
[ Back to top ]