Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Cascadia Research Collective

Understanding Marine Mammals Traveling or Living in Hawaiian Waters

Summary of Project

Since 2000, Dolphin Quest has provided field and financial support to the Cascadia Research Collective. This important study provides a better understanding of the marine mammals that travel or live in Hawaiian waters.

Project Website:

Project Title: Movements, habitat use and diving behavior of Hawaiian odontocetes: assessment of high-density areas, stock boundaries, and behavior in relation to habitat.

Species: melon-headed whales, false killer whales, pantropical spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and others

Project Investigators: Robin Baird, Daniel Webster

Affiliate Organization: Cascadia Research Collective

Project Started: 2000

Dolphin Quest Supported: 2001 to 2019

Project Description

  • Use remotely-deployed satellite tags on several species of toothed whales in Hawaiian waters.
  • Examine movements to assess critical habitat, stock boundaries and overlap with the long-line fishery exclusion boundary, as well as diving behavior (using depth-transmitting satellite tags).
  • This work will be done in concert with ongoing studies of odontocetes in Hawaiian waters, focusing on rarely-encountered species such as melon-headed whales, false killer whales, killer whales, pygmy killer whales, sperm whales, and beaked whales, but also including species for which there are gaps in knowledge regarding movements and diving behavior, such as bottlenose dolphins and pantropical spotted dolphins.

Conservation Benefit

  • Monitoring and tracking odontocetes in Hawaiian waters gives a better understanding of the species that travel or live in the area and their overlap with areas of naval activity and fishing effort.
  • Information used to designate island-associated stocks and biologically important areas for multiple species, and critical habitat for false killer whales.

Cascadia Research Collective News

Cascadia Research Collective has confirmed the discovery of a new marine animal off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii – a hybrid of a rough-toothed dolphin and melon-headed whale!

Here is the full article:

Photo (c) Kimberly A Wood/ Cascadia Research Collective

Since 2005, Dolphin Quest has provided financial and in-field support to the Cascadia Research Collective study that monitors odontocetes (toothed whales) in Hawaiian waters. This important study provides a better understanding of the species that travel or live in the area, and it directly benefits cetacean conservation in Hawaii.
The more we know about marine animals, the better we can protect them in the wild.