Hawai'i is the only state in the United States where humpback whales go to mate, calve and nurse their young. Here, a humpback whale and calf glide gracefully through the waters of Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
It’s thought that humpback whales might prefer the waters off the shores of Hawai'i during mating season because of the water’s warmth, underwater visibility, and the lack of natural predators. But because calves often rest just beneath the water’s surface, calves in these waters are particularly vulnerable to boat strikes.
Next time you’re visiting Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, you can help protect these amazing creatures by reporting any injured or entangled whales to NOAA’s 24-hour hotline at 1-888-256-9840.
(Photo: J. Moore/NOAA Permit #15240)