Lives of Hawaii's Dolphins and Whales: Natural History and Conservation
352pp. November 2016
The Lives of Hawaii's Dolphins and Whales: Natural History and Conservation
Author: Baird, Robin W.;
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.

173 color illustrations

"With more than one hundred full-color photographs, illustrations and maps, the book is not only the most comprehensive single volume on Hawai‘i’s whales and dolphins, it’s also beautiful." –Hana Hou!

"This is marine biology at its finest. . . . The book is a rare treasure: easy-to-read marine biology with precise science that is also a dazzling picture book." –Susan Scott, Ocean Watch, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Author: Baird, Robin W.;
Robin W. Baird is a research biologist with Cascadia Research Collective, a nonprofit research and education organization based in Olympia, Washington.