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Helping Killer Whales Survive by Studying Behaviour

A project by: Darren Croft


WE RAISED £7,500

from 45 donors

This project received donations on Sun 09 Oct 2016

Only project creators and their donors can post comments.

A HUGE thank you for all your support Valerie. Best Wishes Darren

The only reason I've been able to successfully complete a second donation, is because of the help of Alan Denbigh. The website donation system was confusing -- but with Alan's gracious (and continuing) help, there has been a successful second donation. Thank you, Alan -- and also, thanks to Darren Croft, for pursuing information which may be helpful to our Orca population here in Friday Harbor - and perhaps in other Orca populations, as well.

Thank you for all you do for our Southern Residents!!

This is an important study that will not only shed light on data gaps within the scientific body of what is known about Southern Resident killer whales (and killer whales in general), but will also be one of the first directed studies that employs drones for behavioral research on marine mammals. The team of experts participating in this study is phenomenal. I can't wait to see the outcome.

Nearly at £4000 A HUGE thank you for all your support. We have nearly reached £4000 which is just incredible. Please do share the news of this project. Just 11 days to go. Darren

Good luck with the project . Hope you can get enough funds to buy the drone.

Thank you for your support Brenda - very much appreciated! Best Wishes Darren

This Orca research project using drones is precedent-setting and will help marine mammals throughout Canada and the Northwest. Thank you for sponsoring this and I will spread the word to other researchers and writers. I am a National Geographic author and I'm very impressed with the work of these orca researchers. www.BrendaPetersonBooks.com

Dear Alison Thank you for your question and interest in our work. I am very sorry it has taken a while to reply to you – I have been travelling with very little access to the internet. The news of J14 is devastating for this critically endangered population and highlights the urgent need for new work to understand the drivers of survival and reproduction in this population. We strongly believe that drones offer a fantastic opportunity to collect new data on the resident killer whales that will directly feed into management strategies for this population. The data collection will be led by the Center for Whale Research, who are already permitted to conduct aerial surveys. The Center has been collecting data on the Southern Residents for the last 40 years. The Center is working closely with colleagues at the NOAA office to make a small modification to their permit to include video capture by drones and the Center has two licensed drone pilots working with them. No data will be collected until the permits are in place and all data will be collected in accordance with the operating procedure specified in the research permit. I hope that this gives you the reassurance your looking for and please do get back to me with any further questions. Darren Croft


News that J14 is missing, presumed dead, and that J28 (who has a 7 month calf) is severely emaciated shows the urgent need for drone technology to monitor this population. Even though drones have been successfully used with NRKW with zero disturbance, there seems some nervousness in the online communities I follow, to see this as an non-harmful study method for SRKWs. There have been incidences of fines and harassment to this population. Can you offer some words we might use to satisfy these concerned whale lovers, who might otherwise donate. NOAA permit process etc.?

I really believe that drones are the future for non invasive research of marine mammals and expect this project to make a significant contribution to the field.

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to such important work. I hope you reach your target quickly!

Best wishes on achieving your goal of getting a drone! Brilliant! And thank you!

The work all the wonderful folks do at the Center for Whale Research needs your help and support. And adding Prof. Croft and the drone technology is imperative to their efforts moving forward. Please support them and the magnificent Killer Whales!

Hope you reach and surpass the target. Good luck!