This project aims to assess the abundance and distribution of Naiʻa (Hawaiian spinner dolphinsthroughout the main Hawaiian Islands and collect detailed population and life-history data on the dolphins of Oʻahu's Waiʻanae coast.

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Background Information


Naiʻa or Hawaiian spinner dolphins are one of Hawaiʻi’s most familiar dolphin species.  Despite their well known occurrence throughout the islands, little is known about the population size, age structure, or distribution of these dolphins.  Understanding these population parameters is important for long term monitoring of the dolphins’ health and survival.  This project will provide abundance and distribution information for spinner dolphins in the main Hawaiian Islands and determine specific population and age structure estimates for the dolphins of the Waiʻanae coast.  



The aims of the this project are to:

  • produce abundance estimates for the Oʻahu / 4-Islands and Hawaiʻi Island spinner dolphin stocks

  • investigate the distribution of dolphins throughout the target area using spatial models

  • estimate the abundance and age-structure of the Hawaiian spinner dolphins offshore Oʻahu's Waiʻanae coast

  • create a photo-identification catalog of distinctly marked individuals in the Waiʻanae coast population

research team

Lars Bejder - MMRP

Liah McPherson - MMRP

Claire Lacey - MMRP

Erin Oleson - NOAA/PIFSC

Marie Hill - NOAA/JIMAR

For questions, concerns, or more information about the project, contact the research team at mmrp.naia@gmail.com. We also invite you to download our double-sided trifold brochure by clicking the image below. Please feel free to print, fold, and distribute.

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