About Welcome to the ID catalogue of humpback whales sighted in Greenland. The photos in this catalogue have been collected by locals, tourists and the whale watching industry in Greenland, along with the researchers from the Greenland Climate Research Centre at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. This catalogue is primarily tailored to locals in Greenland who wish to contribute with humpback whale ID photos. We hope that the catalogue makes it easy and fun to submit photos — and the more areas we receive photos from, the better our knowledge of the whales around Greenland.
Researchers at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources use the ID catalogue to find answers to many of their questions about the whales and their migration in the North Atlantic. By comparing our ID catalogue with other databases in the North Atlantic, we learn more about the whales' movements outside of Greenland and how these movements may change over time. The catalogue also allows us to find out more about the individual whales that we see in Greenland.
This catalogue is designed and maintained by the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. The site is developed by the Greenland Climate Research Centre at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources in close collaboration with Let it snow Aps, which developed and implemented the platform. This site is funded by "The Climate Fund" under the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Research of Naalakkersuisut (the government of Greenland) and by the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education, which operates under the aegis of the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
Have fun matching your whale with the photos in the catalogue!
How it works The humpback whale's black and white fluke (tail) pattern is unique for each individual. It is their "finger print". Whales may acquire new marks and scars, but their fluke patterns remain clearly identifiable. This makes these black and white marks your key points of reference when matching your whale to the images in the catalogue. Yellow splotches may be present, but they are temporarily made by algae and are not suitable for matching.
Matching whales can be time consuming and sometimes difficult as the fluke patterns of different whales may resemble each other. The catalogue will not match your whale for you, but it will help you narrow the selection down to the most likely candidate – provided, of course, that your whale is listed in the catalogue! It is you who ultimately chooses the best match.
Before you can start matching, you need to take the following steps:
Upload your photo under "Your fluke photo" in the left-hand column. The photo now appears on the page. At the bottom of the page you can see all of the photos in the catalogue.
Enter your name and email along with information on where the photo was taken. We will link your name and email to your photo because you retain the copyright. We will not use the photos for commercial purposes, and they are exclusively to help us with our research.
Mark the position of your observation on the map below
Type (the proportions of black and white on the fluke)
Dots and rings
Position of dots and rings
Position of lines
The catalogue shows examples of the different categories. However, fluke patterns within a given category can vary widely, so we advise you to use the categories as a guideline rather than a definitive answer key. If you cannot find a match, try tweaking your selected categories. The order of the photos in the catalogue will change depending on the categories that you select.
REMEMBER! It could be that your whale is not yet listed in the catalogue.
If you find a match, select the relevant photo at the bottom of the page. Your photo and the photo you picked from the catalogue will now appear next to each other. If the flukes do not match, you can continue your search. If you confirm a match, you will be directed to a page where you can submit your observation.
If you do not find a match, you can submit your – possibly new – whale observation by selecting "Submit observation" located at the same spot where you entered your name and email.
We wish you good luck in identifying your whale or merely taking pleasure in browsing through the catalogue of whales spotted in Greenland.
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks for all the photos that we have received and continue to receive! Your photos are extremely helpful for our research.
Kind regards, The Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
Each photo remains the property of the contributing photographer and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources owns the relevant data. Photos may only be downloaded and used if prior permission has been granted by the photographer. Likewise, photos and/or data from the catalogue may only be used in publications, reports or presentations if prior arrangements have been made with the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. For inquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org