It’s black and white – Orcas can’t wait!
In the Southern Strait of Georgia, there is a unique population of killer whales called the southern residents. They are endangered. There are 78 individuals left. Action needs to be taken to save this species yet far too little is happening. Simply put, orcas can’t wait any longer.
Join other Canadians & Americans in a transboundary collaborative effort as we raise the temperature on the need for immediate action to protect and recover the iconic southern resident orca population.
Here’s are some ways to learn more and get involved
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What’s at Stake
The number of orcas are dwindling
The annual survey conducted by the Centre for Whale Research shows that only 78 southern residents remain, leaving them critically endangered and on the brink of extinction. The southern residents have 3 pods in their population and here are the numbers: J-Pod: 24; K-Pod: 19; L-Pod: 35.
We need more salmon
Chinook salmon populations need to be recovered and their spawning habitat restored to healthy and productive systems so the orca have food to eat. Southern resident killer whales rely on this species for 80% of their diet. No salmon means no orca.
We need quiet oceans
Killer whales depend on sound to detect food, navigate, and communicate with each other. Ever increasing vessel traffic in the Salish Sea threatens the ability of the orca to survive. The proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion will result in a 700% increase in tanker traffic alone and make the waters that much noiser. The southern residents cannot thrive in a noisy ocean. The effects of current noise levels on orca need to be assessed and capped, and further noise inputs need to be managed and reduced.
We need fewer chemicals
Orca are the top predators in the ocean. As toxic chemicals including POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) move up through the food chain, they accumulate at dangerous levels in the fat tissue of orcas. Scientific studies report that the high chemical concentrations found in orcas can cause complications with reproduction, development, and health of their immune systems. Government, industry and citizens need to take action to reduce the use and discharge of harmful chemicals and ban harmful substances so they don’t end up in the oceans and in the killer whales.
We know what threatens southern resident orcas. We need to take action today to reduce these threats. It’s black and white. Orcas can’t wait.