Adult and calf humpback whales
Photo: J. Moore/NOAA under NOAA Permit 15240

The sanctuary is a leader, collaborator, and/or partner in many research efforts. The results of these projects are usually presented at scientific meetings and in publications or reports. Below is a list of projects and scientific products that the sanctuary has supported, been involved in, or led. For more information about these projects or their related products, contact the sanctuary and/or the listed researchers.


Carvalho, J., Lammers, M.O., Indeck, K., Pack, A. and Castilho, R. (2022) “Comparing the social signaling behavior of humpback whales in three group types on the Hawaiian breeding grounds using acoustic tags.” Front. Remote Sens. 3:910455.

Parsons, M.J.G., Lin, T-H., Mooney, T.A., Erbe, C., Juanes, F., Lammers, M.O., Li, S., Linke, S., Looby, A., Nedelec, S.L., Van Opzeeland, I., Radford, C., Rice, A.N., Sayigh, L., Stanley, J., Urban, E. and Di Iorio, L. (2022) Sounding the Call for a Global Library of Underwater Biological Sounds. Front. Ecol. Evol. 10:810156.

Tenorio-Halle, L., Thode, A.M., Lammers, M.O., Conrad, A.S. and Kim, K.H. (2022) “Multi-target 2D tracking method for singing humpback whales using vector sensors.” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 151:126-137.

Research activities at HIHWNMS during the 2021-22 whale season


Zang, E., & Lammers, M. (2021). Estimated density and abundance of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) off Maui, Hawai‘i: Results from 2018-21 vessel-based surveys. National Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series ONMS-21-09. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

McElligott, M.M. and Lammers, M.O. (2021) “Investigating spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) occurrence and acoustic activity in the Maui Nui region.” Front. Mar. Sci. 8:703818.

Howe, M., & Lammers, M.O. (2021). Investigating the Diel Occurrence of Odontocetes Around the Maui Nui Region Using Passive Acoustic Techniques. Pacific Science 75(1), 147-161.

McKenna MF, Baumann-Pickering S, Kok ACM, Oestreich WK, Adams JD, Barkowski J, Fristrup KM, Goldbogen JA, Joseph J, Kim EB, Kügler A, Lammers MO, Margolina T, Peavey Reeves LE, Rowell TJ, Stanley JA, Stimpert AK, Zang EJ, Southall BL, Wall CC, Parijs SV and Hatch LT (2021). Advancing the Interpretation of Shallow Water Marine Soundscapes. Front. Mar. Sci. 8:719258. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.719258

Kügler A, Lammers MO, Zang EJ and Pack AA (2021). Male Humpback Whale Chorusing in Hawai‘i and Its Relationship With Whale Abundance and Density. Front. Mar. Sci. 8:735664. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.735664

Research activities at HIHWNMS during the 2020-21 whale season


Kügler, A., Lammers, M. O., Zang, E. J., Kaplan, M. B., Mooney, T. A. (2020). “Fluctuations in Hawaii's humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae population inferred from male song chorusing off Maui.” Endangered Species Research, 43, 421-434.

Howe, M., Lammers, M.O. and Baird, R. (2020) “Participatory science and directed survey methods: A case study with Odontocetes in the Maui Nui region of the Hawaiian Islands” J. Cetacean Res. Manage. 20: 101–109.

Mooney, T. A., Di Iorio, L., Lammers, M., Lin, T. H., Nedelec, S. L., Parsons, M., Radford, C., Urban, E., & Stanley, J. (2020). "Listening forward: Approaching marine biodiversity assessments using acoustic methods: Acoustic diversity and biodiversity." Royal Society Open Science, 7(8).

Stimpert, A.K., Lammers, M.O., Pack, A.A. and Au, W.W.L. (2020) “Variation in received levels on a sound and movement recording tag on a singing humpback whale: Implications for caller identification.” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 147:3684-3690.

Research activities at HIHWNMS during the 2019-20 whale season


NOAA 2019, Trends in humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) abundance, distribution, and health in Hawaii and Alaska: Report from a meeting held on November 27-28, 2018. NOAA National Ocean Service, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Regional Office, Protected Resources Division.

Mate, B.R., Pelacios, D.M., Baker, C.S., Lagerquist, B.A., Irvine, L.M., Follett, T., Steel, D., Hayslip, C.E. and Winsor, M.H. 2019. Humpback Whale Tagging in Support of Marine Mammal Monitoring Across Multiple Navy Training Areas in the Pacific Ocean: Final Report for the Hawaiian Breeding Area in Spring 2018, Including Historical Data from Previous Tagging Efforts. Prepared for Commander, US Pacific Fleet, and Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command. Submitted to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, San Diego, California, under Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, Department of the Navy Cooperative Agreement No. N62473-17-2-0001. 25 April 2019. 106 pp.

Lammers, M.O. 2019. Spinner dolphins of islands and atolls. In: Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Toothed Whales and Dolphins, the Odontocetes. Würsig, B., Ed. Springer. Pp 369-385.

Lammers, M.O., Kuegler, A., Zang, E., Kaplan, M. and Mooney, A. 2019. Changes in the use of a winter breeding area revealed by male humpback whale chorusing. 5th International Conference on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life, Den Haag, The Netherlands (July 2019).


Finn, R. 2016. Estimating non-lethal entanglement rates through scar analysis of central North Pacific humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae): Assessment of additional body regions. Master’s thesis. Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Lyman, E. et al. 2015. Entanglement reports and scar analysis of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in Hawaiian waters (2003 – 2015): foundation towards future full-body analysis of entanglement threat . Abstract. NOAA - Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.


Lammers, M.O., Pack, A.A., Lyman, E., and Espiritu, L. 2013. Trends in whale/vessel collisions in Hawaiian waters. J. Cetacean Res. Manage. 13:73-80.


Costa, B.M., M.S. Kendall, J. Rooney, M. Chow, J. Lecky, F.A. Parrish, A. Montgomery, R.C. Boland, and H. Spalding. 2012. Prediction of Mesophotic Coral Distributions in the Au'au Channel, Hawaii. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 149. Prepared by the NCCOS Center for Coastal Monitoring and AssessmentBiogeography Branch. Silver Spring, MD. 44 pp.


Barlow, J., J. Calambokidis, E. A. Falcone, et al. 2011. Humpback whale abundance in the north pacific estimated by photographic capture-recapture with bias correction from simulation studies. Marine Mammal Science 27:793–818.


Calambokidis, J., E. A. Falcone, T. J. Quinn, A. M. Burdin, P. J. Clapham, J. K. B. Ford, C. M. Gabriele, R. LeDuc, D. Mattila, L. Rojas-Bracho, J. M. Straley, B. L. Taylor, J. Urban-R, D. Weller, B. H.Witteveen, K. Wynne, M. Yamaguchi, A. Bendlin, D. Camacho, K. Flynn, A. Havron, J. Huggins and N. Maloney. 2008. SPLASH: Structure of populations, levels of abundance and status of humpback whales in the North Pacific. Final report for Contract AB133F-03-RP-00078. 57 pp.


Splash - An international cooperative research effort that took place across the entire North Pacific from 2004 to 2007.


Lammers, M.O., Pack, A.A. and Davis, L. 2003. Historical evidence of whale/vessel collisions in Hawaiian waters (1975 – Present). OSI Technical Report 2003-01. Prepared for NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Spitz SS, Herman L.M., Pack A.A., Deakos M.H. 2002. The relation of body size of male humpback whales to their social roles on the Hawaiian winter grounds. Can J Zool 80:1938–1947

Trends in Relative Distribution, Abundance and Population Composition of Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae in Kawaihae Bay, Island of Hawai`i 1988-2003. Researchers: C. M. Gabriele, S. H. Rickards, S. E. Yin and A. S. Frankel. Affiliation: Hawai`i Marine Mammal Consortium


Feasibility of using Acoustic DIFAR Technology to Localize and Estimate Hawaiian Humpback Whale Population. Researchers: W. Au, and K. Andrews. Affiliation: Marine Mammal Research Program, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai‘i

Abundance of Humpback Whales in Hawaiian Waters: Results of 1993-2000 Aerial Surveys. Researchers: J. Mobley, S. Spitz, and R. Grotenfendt. Affiliation: Marine Mammal Research Consultants

Estimating Residence Times of Humpback Whales in Hawai‘i. Researchers: A. Craig, L. Herman, and A. Pack. Affiliation: The Dolphin Institute

Characterization of Behavior of Humpback Whales in Hawaiian Waters. Researchers: J. Darling. Affiliation: West Coast Whale Research Foundation and Whale Trust


Au, W. W. L., Mobley, J., Burgess, W. C., Lammers, M. O., Nachtigall, P. E. 2000. Seasonal and diurnal trends of chorusing humpback whales wintering in waters off west Maui. Mar. Mamm. Sci. 16:530-544.

Shore-based monitoring along the Kohala Coast, Hawai‘i. Researchers: J. Ostman-Lind, A. Driscoll-Lind, et al. Affiliation: Hawai`i Marine Mammal Consortium

Social function of whale songs. Researchers: J. Darling, M. Jones and F. Nicklin. Affiliation: West Coast Whale Research Foundation.

Sub-surface and night-time behavior off Maui. Researcher: R. Baird

Behavior and development of calves in nursery waters. Researcher: R. Cartwright

Investigating demographics, behavior and growth using a new technique to measure individual whale size. Researchers: L. Herman and A. Pack. Affiliation: Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory.


Valuing Hawai`i's humpback whales: the economic impact of humpbacks on Hawai`i's ocean tour industry. Researcher: Dan Utech. Affiliation: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Population survey with other cetacean species: Results of 1993-1998 aerial surveys. Researchers: J. Mobley et al. Affiliation: University of Hawai`i - West Oahu.


Mother and calf survey in Ma`alaea Bay, Maui. Researchers: M. Ferrari and D. Glockner-Ferrari. Affiliation: Center for Whale Studies.

Photo-identification on Penguin Banks and behavioral comparison with North Atlantic Humpbacks. Researcher: D. Matilla. Affiliation: Center for Coastal Studies.

Long-term association patterns off Maui and on Penguin Banks. Researcher: D. Saldan. Affiliation: Hawai`i Whale Research Foundation.

Whale survey using respiration technique and shore-based survey methods. Researcher: J. Mobley. Affiliation: University of Hawai`i, West Oahu.


Population survey off Kahoolawe. Affiliation: Pacific Whale Foundation

Underwater videography and observations of age and sex classes of whales off Lahaina and Au`au Channel. Researchers: J. Mobley, D. Jensen and J. Lemire. Affiliation: University of Hawai`i, West Oahu


Population characteristics off Kauai: 1991-1993 data. Researcher: S. Cerchio