Humpback Whale Calf Summary: 2010


I'm a few months behind schedule...but I've just spent a week with my head buried in my computer, on the verge of crying at times finished looking through the reams of data we collected during the humpback whale season in Tonga last year, and I've compiled the following PDF summary:

Summary of humpback whale calfs: 2010, v1 (22 Jan ’11)
Summary of humpback whale calfs: 2010, v2 (08 Oct ’11, added sighting of Ikumi 201005)

The file is 37 pages long and about 12MB, incorporating 24 juvenile humpback whales that we were able to ID during the 2010 season.

Ikumi, fifth ID-ed calf and the star of the 2010 humpback whale season in Tonga

I know that downloading and reading a PDF file is kind of a pain, but I think it's worth investing a bit of time to do so.

With three consecutive years of documentation, there are some interesting patterns beginning to emerge from the data. Only time will tell whether the trends continue, but it's certainly rewarding to see results from the time and effort we've put in.

To give you an idea of where our encounters took place, here's a map of our calf sightings:

View 2010 Humpback Whale Calf IDs Tonga in a larger map

And this is a map of calfs we saw, but were unable to ID:

View 2010 Unidentified Humpback Whale Calfs Tonga in a larger map

If you click through to the larger maps, you can read notes about each of the encounters. I think it's particularly interesting to look at the repeat sightings of 201005 Ikumi (the friendly female calf we encountered 10 times in 15 days) to see where she and her mother spent their time.

As was the case with the calf summary I put together for 2009, I will happily incorporate contributions from anyone who was in Tonga last year and can send me photo and/ or video documentation of:

  1. Additional sightings of any of the 24 juvenile whales already ID-ed;
  2. and/ or

  3. Sightings of baby whales not in my file.

The more contributions there are, the better understanding we can develop of the whales. For the 2009 season, submissions from other people eventually increased our ID count from 26 to 31 baby whales.

To everyone who contacted me earlier...sorry it's taken this long to get organised! I don't have any help putting this together, so it's taken longer than I had hoped.

In case you're interested, you can click the following links for information from the 2008 and 2009 seasons:

Summary of humpback whale calfs: 2008 (17 Sep '08) 8MB;
Summary of humpback whale calfs: 2009, v6 (08 Oct ’11) 15MB;
Google Maps for 2009 calf sightings.

And finally, there are a few spaces that might be opening up for my trips to Tonga this year. If you're interested, take a look at my previous post, and then drop me a line via my contact form.