Hawaii: The Perfect Natural Laboratory for Whales
Whale Trust’s field research, conducted on living whales at sea, is amongst the most difficult of wildlife studies. It involves multi-year field programs, including long periods at sea. Studies must take into account that a whale population can migrate across entire ocean basins, and that they often can only be observed for the brief periods they are at the surface.
Much of our current research into the biology and behavior of humpback whales is carried out in the shallow and protected waters between the four islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe.
The Hawaiian Islands: A Natural Living Laboratory for Humpback Whales
The Hawaiian Islands are one of the most remote island archipelagoes in the world.
Each winter, these Islands become home to at least 6,000-8,000 humpback whales. Why humpback whales travel to sub-tropical areas like Hawaii each year is still unknown, but the warm, clear, shallow, protected waters make Hawaii one of the best natural laboratories in the world to study humpback whales.
As an endangered species, their survival is dependent upon successful reproduction, and as such, in 1997, the waters around most of the main Hawaiian Islands officially became a National Marine Sanctuary, specifically designated for humpback whales.
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