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."

By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D.

Despite a journey to this moment even more treacherous than expected, Americans now have a fresh opportunity to act, decisively, on climate change.

The authors of the many new books released in just the past few months (or scheduled to be published soon) seem to have anticipated this pivotal moment.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Marsh Creek in north-central California is the site of restoration project that will increase residents' access to their river. Amy Merrill

By Katy Neusteter

The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the "nice-to-have" column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water — and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

Read More Show Less
A creative depiction of bigfoot in a forest. Nisian Hughes / Stone / Getty Images

Deep in the woods, a hairy, ape-like man is said to be living a quiet and secluded life. While some deny the creature's existence, others spend their lives trying to prove it.

Read More Show Less
President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer holds a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on Jan. 30, 2020. Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

By Jon Queally

Noted author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben was among the first to celebrate word that the president of the European Investment Bank on Wednesday openly declared, "To put it mildly, gas is over" — an admission that squares with what climate experts and economists have been saying for years if not decades.

Read More Show Less