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Kiwis on social media help scientists collect data on southern right whales

Since they were hunted to near extinction, monitoring the recovery of elusive southern right whales has proven difficult. However a recent study published in Ocean & Coastal Management has shown that by supplementing data from the Department of Conservation with sightings reported on social networking sites, scientists have developed a more comprehensive understanding of how the species is faring. For example, southern right whales are recovering more slowly in mainland waters compared to their sub antarctic breeding grounds.

At Project Jonah, we believe that citizen science plays a critical role in marine conservation, and this study reiterates this.

Please continue to share your sightings of rare whales or dolphins. With few cetacean researchers and rangers across New Zealand, every sighting helps!