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Support AWF's Whale Health Campaign! 

Climate change and warming oceans are impacting the health of whales in Alaska.  Alaska Whale Foundation is committed to collecting a comprehensive suite of whale health data to track how individual whales are faring and to help guide managers and policy makers in protecting them. Our goal is to give a health exam to all 2,500 whales that live and feed in Southeast Alaskan waters.


By contributing $310 to this campaign - the cost of a single exam - you can help us get one whale closer to that goal!     

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When you contribute $310 to this campaign, you cover the cost of a comprehensive health exam for one of the ~2,500 whales in Southeast Alaska! In return, we will send you a FULL HEALTH REPORT from one of the whales that we examine. This will include:

  • The whale's name

  • A photo of it's flukes (that's how we know who it is!

  • Its sighting history from our 30-year database

  • It's health statistics (with, of course, some explanation of what they mean!)

  • And a brief description of anything else we might know about the individual

We will also send you our full research report at the end of the year so you can keep up to date with how the whales are doing. All this, in addition to the satisfaction that comes from knowing you are helping to fund this critical research!  


Fundraising Progress


So how do we give a whale a health exam, anyway?

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Photo Identification

Like the ID card you present when visiting your doctor, a photo-identification image of a whale’s tail reveals who that individual is and allows us to keep track of their health, behavior and movement patterns over time.

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Body Condition Sampling

Using customized drones and advanced 'aerial photogrammetry' techniques, we can accurately estimate a whale's weight (and more importantly, the amount of energy it has stored in its blubber) as though it were stepping on a scale!  

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Biopsy Sampling

From a single tissue sample the size of a pencil erasure, we can determine a whale's sex, whether it is chronically stressed and/or pregnant, and learn about what it has been eating. 




With a high-tech, but minimally invasive, suction-cup-attached camera tag, we can follow along with a whale when it dives to determine how it budgets its time, measure its respiratory rate, and even estimate how much energy it's expending.

This full suite of health data provides valuable insight into how whales are responding to climate change and warming oceans. This information can then help us determine how they will be impacted by future change and inform policy makers and managers about steps they need to take to ensure the long-term health of whales in Southeast Alaska and throughout the world's oceans. 



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