Identification Database


Photographic Data Submission Cover Sheet

The Identification database contains all known photographed sightings of right whales since 1935. In addition to photographed sightings, the database now contains any record that can lead to an individual identification. This includes “sightings” with skin or fecal samples (both of which can be identified to individuals by genotyping) collected from unphotographed whales, and eventually may include quality locations from satellite tags attached to identified individuals. Research groups, whale watch vessels, and individual mariners from all along the eastern seaboard contributed these sightings. Photographed sightings are matched to whales in the identification database whenever possible so that individual animals can be monitored over time. All photographed sightings are also included in the Sightings database, but the animals' identification numbers are not included there. The Sightings database and Identification database are periodically cross-referenced, however, so that individual identification data from the latter can be linked to sighting data from the former.