Wildbook 5.1.0-RELEASE
Find Record:
Select Language:
Report a whale shark encounter! - photograph courtesy of Amber Triglone

Introducing Wildbook for Whale Sharks

The Wildbook for Whale Sharks photo-identification library is a visual database of whale shark (Rhincodon typus) encounters and of individually catalogued whale sharks. The library is maintained and used by marine biologists to collect and analyze whale shark sighting data to learn more about these amazing creatures.

The Wildbook uses photographs of the skin patterning behind the gills of each shark, and any scars, to distinguish between individual animals. Cutting-edge software supports rapid identification using pattern recognition and photo management tools.

You too can assist with whale shark research, by submitting photos and sighting data. The information you submit will be used in mark-recapture studies to help with the global conservation of this threatened species.

53000+ photos collected
25000+ sighting reports
5200+ whale sharks collaboratively tagged
4000+ data contributors
365 research days/year

Please consider adopting a shark to support our mission!

Growing Success

Contact Us

Wild Me is always looking for opportunities to better tell the story of whale sharks and the growing body of research and discoveries made possible by dedicated scientists, volunteers, and the general public.

Please contact us with your questions.

Data Sharing

Data sharing with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility Data sharing with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Data sharing with the Ocean Biogeographic Information System Data sharing with the census of marine life


jason_profile.jpgWildbook for Whale Sharks is maintained and developed by Jason Holmberg (Information Architect) with significant support and input from the research community.

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the following organizations and individuals, without which continuing operation of this Wildbook would not be possible.

Qatar Whale Shark Research Project
Siren Fleet
Mark Leichnitz
Adopted shark: P-401
Why are shark research and conservation important?
"I've been diving for over 25 years and have witnessed the horrifying degradation of our oceans. I love whale sharks and this one was the biggest that I've ever had the awesome pleasure to spend 45 minutes with. I've decided to adopt the fish and name him/her "Sugar". I feel it's important for divers to support whale shark research and conservation for a variety of reasons. One important reason is that I have encountered two whale sharks with seriously injured tail fins - cut by boat propellors - a function of the tourism industry's sometimes reckless exploitation. Sugar was one of a group of five whale sharks that seemed to be begging for shrimp at a tourist site "
Your adoption gift to Wild Me is tax deductible in the United States. Click here to learn more.

Recent Encounters

Whaleshark.org RSS News Feed

ATOM News Feed

RSS News Feed  ATOM News Feed

All Wildbook for Whale Sharks photo-identification library contents copyright Wild Me and respective individual contributors. Unauthorized usage of any material for any purpose is strictly prohibited.

For more information about intellectual property protection and our terms of usage, please read our Visitor Agreement. To acknowledge Wildbook for Whale Sharks data usage in a paper, please visit our Publications page.

This software is distributed under the GPL v3 license and is intended to support mark-recapture field studies. Open source and commercially licensed products used in this framework are listed here.

Powered by Wildbook