New book on Hawai‘i’s whales and dolphins

Based primarily on our research in Hawaiian waters over the last 17 years, and incorporating findings from other researchers as well as delving into the history of the discovery of and interactions withi whales and dolphins in Hawai‘i, The lives of Hawai‘i’s dolphins and whales: natural history and conservation has just been published by the University of Hawai‘i Press. The book contains 173 full color illustrations, including 125 photos, 33 maps and 15 illustrations. Species illustrations are by Uko Gorter, and photos are taken by the author and by various Cascadia crew and volunteers, as well as photos by Deron VerbeckDoug PerrineChuck Babbitt and others.

Retail cost in the U.S. is only $24.99. The book is available from Barnes and Noble, in Kindle (or print) from Amazon, directly from University of Hawai‘i Press and from booksellers throughout Hawai‘i and on the mainland.


Some examples of two page spreads from the book below

Description from the publisher

Ocean currents, winds, and rainfall all work together to create a marine oasis around the Hawaiian Islands, providing a home for many species of dolphins and whales normally found in the deep oceans of the world. The Lives of Hawai‘i’s Dolphins and Whales provides a window into the world of these mysterious creatures with stories and observations from the author’s work with Hawaiian whales and dolphins over the last seventeen years. The book includes full-color photos of each species, life history descriptions, conservation threats, and maps showing sighting locations and movements of tagged individuals among the islands and offshore.

Although this work covers the well-known resident spinner dolphins and the visiting humpback whales, it particularly highlights the ten species of lesser-known open-ocean dolphins and whales that are resident to the marine slopes of the islands. These include endangered false killer whales, deep-diving Cuvier’s and Blainville’s beaked whales, abundant spotted dolphins, coastal bottlenose dolphins, cryptic dwarf sperm whales, family units of short-finned pilot whales, and social melon-headed whales, among others. The book also describes thirteen species of dolphins and whales that are found in offshore waters or visit the Hawaiian waters seasonally or occasionally, including killer whales, the iconic sperm whale, and even blue whales and North Pacific right whales.

More is known about the social organization and natural history of many of these species in Hawai‘i than anywhere else in the world. For all of these species, information from long-term photo-identification studies is given, with distinctive individuals tracked through time and space; for many of them, findings from studies using genetics and satellite tagging are also included. Information on predators and prey, social organization, diving, and night-time behavior, along with suggestions on how to tell some of the more difficult to identify species apart are also included. Conservation issues, as well as conservation success stories, are explored, as well as what can and should be done to help protect Hawai‘i’s unique assemblage of resident dolphins and whales.

Baird, R.W. 2016. The lives of Hawai‘i’s dolphins and whales: natural history and conservation. University of Hawai‘i Press, Honolulu, Hawai‘i. 352 pages.