Understanding ocean migratory patterns, foraging behavior and critical habitat are essential ingredients to sustaining the biological diversity of our ocean planet. The importance becomes even more pronounced when considering endangered species like the leatherback sea turtle, the West Indian manatee and the Hawaiian monk seal. Satellite telemetry is an invaluable tool for tracking the movements of marine animals. HSWRI is at the forefront of using this space technology to track the ocean journeys of whale sharks, endangered leatherback sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals.
If long-term conservation programs are to be effective, it's critical to understand animal populations and their habitats. Research projects at HSWRI examine a number of physical and biological factors that influence the health of marine animal populations. Marine mammal strandings, as distressing as they are to witness, provide researchers with a unique point of contact with creatures whose behavior and movements are usually a mystery. Understanding the role that diseases play in regulating population abundance, or the role that environmental changes play in marine animal distribution provides resource managers with the information they need to manage species and their habitats. It also provides them with the ability to predict, and therefore perhaps prevent, catastrophic events that could threaten biodiversity and vitality of ocean ecosystems.
Physiology & Ocean Health
Understanding How Animals Respond to a Changing World