Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Drones Capture Stunning Footage of Humpback and Gray Whales

Popular
Drones Capture Stunning Footage of Humpback and Gray Whales

Researchers are using drone technology to bring whale research to completely new heights.

On Sunday, the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP) released incredible aerial footage of humpback and gray whales that's being used for important conservation efforts.


"Seeing them from above, it's giving you another complete view," Fabien Vivier, a PhD student at UH Manoa, says in the video. "And it's really amazing, because you can observe behaviors that you wouldn't imagine if you were sitting on the boat."

Stunning drone videos of humpback and gray whales aid new UH marine mammal research www.youtube.com

MMRP researchers, in collaboration with state and federal agencies and conservation organizations, are studying the effects of climate change, human activities and shifting prey availability on humpback whales and other marine mammals, according to a press release from the university.

"The main purpose is the conservation of these animals, so we try to collect information that is empirical, but that is applied for conservation outcomes," MMRP director Lars Bejder says in the video.

The population of humpback whales that migrates to Hawaii was delisted from the endangered species list in 2016. However, in recent years, researchers have noticed a decline in humpback whale sightings around the Hawaiian Islands, and it's unclear why.

The new project from will help investigate the possible causes of this apparent decline.

"Marine mammals, they are charismatic animals and people really care about them," Bejder says in the video. "Some of the studies that we are carrying out will allow us to provide information to conserve these animals. Very importantly, they are also sentinels of ecosystem health and this is really important, because they can help raise concerns with the general public about concerns that we have about the ocean health today."

A new UK study links eating meat with increased risks for heart disease, diabetes and more. nata_zhekova / Getty Images

The World Health Organization has determined that red meat probably causes colorectal cancer in humans and that processed meat is carcinogenic to humans. But are there other health risks of meat consumption?

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A common cuttlefish like this can pass the "marshmallow test." Hans Hillewaert / CC BY-SA 4.0

Cuttlefish, marine invertebrates related to squids and octopuses, can pass the so-called "marshmallow test," an experiment designed to test whether human children have the self-control to wait for a better reward.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Yogyakarta Bird Market, Central Java, Indonesia. Jorge Franganillo / CC BY 2.0

By John R. Platt

The straw-headed bulbul doesn't look like much.

It's less than a foot in length, with subdued brown-and-gold plumage, a black beak and beady red eyes. If you saw one sitting on a branch in front of you, you might not give it a second glance.

Read More Show Less
Red Knots are among the shorebirds that a scientific study is tracking. BrianEKushner / Getty Images

By Julián García Walther

One morning in January, I found myself 30 feet up a tall metal pole, carrying 66 pounds of aluminum antennas and thick weatherproofed cabling. From this vantage point, I could clearly see the entire Punta Banda Estuary in northwestern Mexico. As I looked through my binoculars, I observed the estuary's sandy bar and extensive mudflats packed with thousands of migratory shorebirds frenetically pecking the mud for food.

Read More Show Less
The Great Barrier Reef at Whitsunday Island, Australia. Daniel Osterkamp / Getty Images

The world's oceans and coastal ecosystems can store remarkable amounts of carbon dioxide. But if they're damaged, they can also release massive amounts of emissions back into the atmosphere.

Read More Show Less