MMTD Automatic Whale Detector, Version 1.0

Scientists have combined infrared cameras with image recognition software to automatically detect and count migrating gray whales.

Every year, gray whales migrate from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic to their wintering grounds off Baja California in Mexico. And roughly every other year, scientists with binoculars count them as they funnel past a point on the California coast a bit south of Monterey Bay. Scientists conduct this survey to keep track of how well the population is doing, and this year they have a new set of eyes to help with the job. Three eyes, to be exact. Each one is a thermal imaging camera that captures the blow from a whale as it surfaces to breathe.”

Read more about thermal imaging to detect migrating gray whales off the California Coast in the article, Automatic Whale Detector, Version 1.0

Learn more about:     Gray whale population studies
                                  Marine Mammal and Turtle Division, SWFSC

Gray Whale and Calf spy hopping. Credit NOAA.  
A gray whale mother and calf. Photo credit: NOAA