We use electronic tags to “ride along” and remotely monitor whales as they go about their lives over periods of several weeks to months. This lets us study many aspects of their lives. Basic information that we learn about whale movements and where different behaviors occur across the landscape help us understand how and why they are using specific habitat types. Developing a better understanding of the patterns of whale habitat use, the reasons behind it, and their responses to different conditions, will lead to improved conservation measures for the whales and the marine environment in which they live.

This video shows how we use the movements of tagged whales to find areas that were used most often. The environmental characteristics of these places can then let us predict other places whales might be found by finding places with similar characteristics.

Tracking the movements of whales gives us a detailed view of where the whales spend their time, but we also want to know what they are doing in the places they go, so we can understand why they are using some areas and not others. This video shows an example of the dive behavior data we can collect and how we can use it to learn what whales are doing in an area.