Caribbean Humpback Acoustic Monitoring Programme: 2016-2017 Report
In September 2016, the West Indies distinct population segment (DPS) of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), was delisted under the US Endangered Species Act. This DPS covers all of the Caribbean breeding grounds. However, growing evidence suggests the West Indies DPS contains more than one breeding population. In response to these changes in the status of humpback whales and evidence supporting more than one breeding population in the West Indies, we formed the Caribbean Humpback Acoustic Monitoring Programme (CHAMP). This research program leverages and expands on networks already established in the Caribbean to promote and enhance collaborative research on the biology of humpback whales and establish a robust monitoring program, focusing first on passive acoustic monitoring. CHAMP is a multi-national program which includes researchers, government officials, non-governmental organizations, resource managers, and others in Aruba, Bonaire, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, and the United States.