On Saturday, Feb. 29th, 191 whales were sighted from 8:30 to 8:45 am during the latest whale count.
The annual Great Whale Count brings volunteers together to count whales from shore as part of a long-term survey of humpback whales in Hawaii. This event provides a snapshot of trends in relative abundance of whales and is one of the world’s longest-running citizen scientist projects.
There are 12 survey sites along the shoreline of Maui, offering a chance to spend time at a favorite spot or to explore a new part of the island. Participants receive a brief training from a Site Leader in the morning and then spend half a day counting whales and observing behaviors during timed scans.
Site Leaders record data from their volunteers throughout the event. The research team tallies the results from all the sites and releases the numbers immediately following the count.
Current estimates are that the whale presence is up 134% over last year.
The next count will be on Saturday, March 28. Volunteers are needed and welcome: https://www.pacificwhale.org/research/citizen-science/great-whale-count/