Every Calf Counts: Hawaii's humpback whale mother and calf pairs in a time of changing climate

November 10, 2021

Dr. Rachel Cartwright, Lead Researcher, Keiki Kohola Project

Each winter, humpback whales from across the North Pacific Ocean head to Hawaiian waters to breed and raise their young. Within the islands, the nearshore waters along the western shoreline of Maui, Hawai`i are a favored nursery region for mothers and their young calves. Over the past twenty years—the Keiki Kohola Project—a small, grassroots research organization based on Maui, has been working to provide information to help ensure the well-being of mothers and calf pairs during this critical nursery period.

Between 2015 and 2017, dramatic increases in water temperatures in the North Pacific severely impacted the region's marine ecosystem. These impacts included the food supplies on which Maui's humpback whales depend. Join Dr. Rachel Cartwright to learn how Maui's mothers and their calves weathered these lean years. She will provide up-to-date information on their current status, and more exciting information about these humpback whale mother and calf pairs.