Humpback whale 2018 summer field season begins with an auspicious start!

We are all geared up and ready to go to continue our monitoring study of humpback whales in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama. This study has been ongoing since 2002, and we are thrilled to be back for our 15th year! Since we started this work we have identified 668 individual whales using their tail flukes, some of whom we've seen for multiple years. We are excited to see who we will see again this year, and add some new identifications to our catalog.

Yesterday we headed to the Islas Secas, which we use as our base of operations, with a boat full of research equipment, personal gear, and food (the most important). Because we were so laden with equipment we headed straight to the islands, which is a three hour trip from town in our boat. Of course, we always stop for whales and this transit day did not disappoint! We had over 15 whales in just a few hours and managed to get 11 individual whales identified. Moms and calves, singers singing, and breaching whales all greeted us on our first day on the water. We hope this means we will have a great field season! Please check back to see how we're doing! 

One of the identification photographs we took on our first day, stay tuned to see if we've seen this whale before!
A breaching whale greets us as we begin our 2018 field season

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