A DRONE will help assess the health of whales near Logans Beach in the wake of the loss of two calves.
Researchers launched the drone on Wednesday to capture high-resolution images of southern right whale calves and their mothers.
The images will log the unique patterns on the critically endangered species to help identify them and measure the calves' body sizes to assess their health.
Two local female whales are without their calves after researchers discovered one missing and another washed up dead at Logans Beach last month.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning programs officer Mandy Watson said researchers were exploring all possibilities why both calves likely died.
"Maybe they weren't getting enough milk, is one theory. The other theories are disease, accident or predation from sharks or killer whales," Ms Watson said.
She said measuring the size of the calves would help DELWP understand if they were underweight.
"We have two females here at Logans Beach, they are the two that lost their calves unfortunately," Ms Watson said.
Researchers are permitted to fly the drone at Logans Beach until September 20 and allowed to operate it within 500 metres of whales.
"The drone will be flown by fully qualified and experienced drone operators and spend no more than five minutes at a time near each whale," Ms Watson said.
"Whale behaviour will be constantly monitored during drone flights. If a whale shows behavioural response, the drone will be withdrawn to at least 500 metres from the whale."
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