SR3’s killer whale expert, Dr. Holly Fearnbach and colleagues Drs. John Durban (NOAA) and Lance Barrett-Lennard (Coastal Ocean Research Institute) just completed their second week of research efforts on Vancouver Island, BC. They had a hugely successful week and flew 76 flights with an unmanned hexacopter (bringing the project total to 128 flights!) to collect vertical images that will assess body condition and health of killer and humpback whales. Over the past two weeks, the team has now photographed 140 individual Northern Resident (fish-eating) killer whales, 15 Bigg’s (mammal-eating) killer whales and nine humpback whales. They have also used the hexacopter to collect six blow samples from humpback whales that will be used in respiratory microbiome studies in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Individual health of both killer and humpback whales in this region will be compared within and across years, as well as to other populations such as the endangered Southern Resident killer whales.