Categorized | Education

Hawaii’s false killer whales at risk

False killer whale with mahimahi.

False killer whale with mahimahi.

(Photo by Dan McSweeney/Courtesy of


When: April 21, 2009 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Where: Kealakehe High School Library (Kona)

Did you know that there are false killer whales in Hawaii?

In fact, they are truly Hawaiian false killer whales, the only known island-associated and genetically isolated population of this species anywhere in the world.

Marine mammal researcher Dr. Robin W. Baird will be sharing his findings on Hawaii’s population of false killer whales. False killer whales are long-lived (reaching 50 to 60 years or more),  they don’t start reproducing until their teens, and are slow to reproduce (having calves perhaps every five or more years). Recent evidence suggests the population may have declined by more than 50 percent in the last 20 years. Such factors make recovery from population declines a slow and uncertain process. False killer whales in Hawaii are more at risk than any other species of whale or dolphin.

Baird will also be discussing the possible causes of the decline and risk factors that the populations of Hawaii’s false killer whales face.

REEFTALKS are cosponsored by the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, the Malama Kai Foundation.  Talks are free public service presentations, held monthly, alternating between the Waimea/Kamuela and Kona areas. For more information, call University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program at 329-2861.

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