Research Methods

SouWEST employs a variety of research methods in Geographe Bay.  We use a theodolite to track whale movements through the area, recording whale behaviours and group compositions for each sighting.  This data is incorporated with simultaneous recordings of whale vocalisations from a hydrophone mounted in the bay.  Our partners from Western Whale Research (WWR) take pictures of many of the blue whales travelling past, allowing us to use photo-identification (photo-ID) to recognize individual animals.  WWR is also working with geneticists from Flinders and Macquarie University to collect blue whale genetic samples in order to identify the animals’ gender and further research into species distribution and population dynamics.  To learn more about each of these research techniques, select an option from the drop-down menu above.

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