We started our false killer whale rapid response program in the summer of 2018 and it’s been incredibly successful! With one research vessel surveying our study area, we have a relatively low likelihood of encountering false killer whales, so we turned to the community for help. More eyes and ears on the water will benefit our research, which will, in turn, provide the science needed to assist managers in protecting and conserving this endangered population. We are also working collaboratively with other researchers to share data and expand our body of knowledge.
We are requesting that all water users in Maui Nui please notify our researchers immediately when false killer whales are sighted by calling/texting: (808) 990-5544. If weather conditions permit, we will launch a rapid response so we can get to the animals as quickly as possible and collect valuable data. Our researchers collect identification photographs, aerial footage, underwater footage, and behavioral observations.
Due to the reporting network and our rapid response program, we have had 6 encounters with false killer whales this year! As we expand our reporting network, we are excited to learn more about these special animals.
For more information regarding our current research projects, please visit https://www.pacificwhale.org/research/hawaii/.