This 12 months’s citizen science venture to tally humpback whale sightings in Hawaii has been modified once more because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though small teams of volunteers may in a position to take part.
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Nationwide Marine Sanctuary shall be holding the Ocean Depend program this 12 months to supply a snapshot of humpback whale exercise, the sanctuary introduced in a information launch.
From the shorelines of Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii island, observers will tally the variety of humpback whales this season. The whales migrate to Hawaii every winter to mate, calve and nurse their younger.
Usually a well-liked occasion attended by a whole bunch, the Ocean Depend program was modified last year because of the coronavirus. Just one or two skilled website leaders participated in this system in 2021.
That would be the case once more on Jan. 29, on the primary day of this system. However the sanctuary mentioned that “a small variety of normal volunteers” may be capable of take part within the Feb. 26 and March 26 occasions, relying on COVID-19’s presence in Hawaii.
The choice to permit volunteers shall be primarily based on elements together with state and county pointers, and the protection of contributors. Choices shall be made by Feb. 15 and March 15 for the occasions set to happen throughout these respective months.
The Nice Whale Depend on Maui, by the Pacific Whale Basis, is comparable in operate to Ocean Depend and also will run a modified program this 12 months.
The Ocean Depend program helps improve public consciousness about humpback whales whereas offering volunteers with shore-based whale watching alternatives. Web site leaders tally humpback whale sightings and doc the whales’ habits.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Nationwide Marine Sanctuary is run by the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Hawaii’s Division of Aquatic Sources.