Populations

Telling stories about wildlife populations, one photograph at a time

July 09, 2017

Guest post from our newest team member, Natalie Mastick “I look at pictures of dolphins all day,” is my most common answer when asked what I do for work.   It’s an over-simplified statement, albeit accurate, and it usually leads to many follow-up questions. The most frequent being “Why?” That’s a fair question. I then proceed […]

Which raindrop caused the flood?

April 30, 2016

A lot of the research our charity, Oceans Initiative, conducts is to see how human activities — all of them — affect marine wildlife, both in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The iconic orca we study illustrate this problem well. According to the latest census by Center for Whale Research, the population is hovering at 84 individuals. […]

Counting and protecting Amazon river dolphins

March 12, 2016

Did you know two species of river ‪dolphin‬ live in the ‪Amazon‬? The pink one is called ‪boto‬, or Inia; the grey one is called ‪tucuxi‬, or Sotalia. Both are gorgeous, ancient species that have become adapted to live their entire lives in freshwater. They are also incredibly tough to spot in muddy waters, and have a […]

COUNTING WHALES IN A CHALLENGING, CHANGING HABITAT

March 31, 2014

  Few marine conservation issues are more contentious than Japan’s “scientific whaling” program, which allows for the killing of up to 935 whales each year. This number is large, relative to hunts of other whales in other parts of the world, but small relative to the hundreds of thousands of Antarctic minke whales in the […]

A Rare Visit

December 29, 2012

  Grey whales are pretty neat.  We were lucky enough to encounter two of them on Boxing Day.  Their visit to inshore waters of British Columbia in December was a bit of a surprise.  Grey whales are legendary for their migration, which is among the longest of any mammal.  We’d expect to see grey whales […]

WHERE THE WHALES (AND WHALE RESEARCHERS) ARE

September 12, 2012

  Rob and his colleagues published a neat new paper today in the open access journal, PLOS ONE.  The paper, led by Dr Kristin Kaschner at the University of Freiburg, examined >1100 estimates of the abundance of whales, dolphins and porpoises reported in more than 400 surveys conducted worldwide between 1975 and 2005. It is […]

I LOVE DOLPHINS IN THE SPRINGTIME

May 15, 2011

It’s that time of year again.  Pacific white-sided are making appearances in the waters throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Last month, Knight Inlet, BC was bursting with Pacific white-sided dolphins and we were there to collect ID photographs, acoustic recordings (Click here to listen) and prey samples. Soon after our Knight Inlet trip ended, our colleague, […]

SHARKS IN BC?

May 09, 2011

Mark Hume, at the Globe & Mail, just published a neat new story about our recently published paper on sharks in BC (with Tom Okey, Scott Wallace and Vince Gallucci).  The paper was published months ago, but became newsworthy again recently in light of the Cohen Commission’s discussions about the potential role of marine predators […]

(WHALE, DOLPHIN AND HUMAN) MOTHERS ROCK

May 08, 2011

I’m not a mom (yet), but being in the field with whales and dolphins for my PhD research is making me think a lot lately about motherhood.  The killer whales (orcas) that we study stay with their mothers their entire lives:  they live in a matrifocal society.  That’s rare.  Sure, when the daughters grow up and […]