CBS Airs US Navy, HDR Drone Footage of Endangered Whales
“CBS Weekend News” ran a segment January 16, 2021, showing endangered North Atlantic right whales. Spotted 25 miles off the Virginia coast and filmed from a drone by a research team, the whales were believed to be three of the 350 to 400 left in existence.
The work was led by researchers at HDR, funded by the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and managed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic as part of the U.S. Navy’s Marine Species Monitoring program. Under this program, HDR scientists routinely monitor marine species for potential effects from human activities.
During an Atlantic Ocean survey, the research team spotted the large marine mammals and carefully took photos of the callosities on their heads. Research colleagues from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the New England Aquarium compared the unique patterns to a catalogue of known North Atlantic right whales. The whales were all identified as males — No. 2142, 3821 and 4523, born in 1991, 2008 and 2015, respectively. Drone footage helped the team quickly assess whale behavior, overall body condition and size.
With more than 1,000 environmental professionals, HDR provides integrated services to carry out client missions. The company’s data acquisition professionals use the latest drone technologies to safely and efficiently complete projects.