Published on January 13, 2010
Slide 1: Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Slide 2: Orcas live in family groups called pods that stay together their entire lives. Slide 3: Even adult males and females remain with their mothers throughout their lifetimes… …in what is possibly the strongest bond in nature. Slide 4: Newborn calves swim right by the sides of their caring mothers… Slide 5: …or in the protective keeping of an older sibling. Slide 6: Families travel together. Slide 7: And play together. Slide 8: Why do whales spyhop? Slide 9: Are they watching us as we are watching them? Slide 10: Why do they breach? Is it a way to remove parasites? A form of communication? Slide 11: Or is it just for fun? Slide 12: There is still so much to learn. Slide 13: The Southern Resident orcas of the Pacific Northwest are endangered. Slide 14: They need your help. Slide 15: ? 2009 - www.WhaleMuseum.org Slide 16: The San Juan Islands in Washington State – one of the most beautiful places on earth. Slide 17: Home to one of the world’s most awe-inspiring beings ... Slide 18: ...unfortunately, one of the most toxic marine mammals on Earth. Slide 19: The Southern Resident orcas of the Pacific Northwest were listed as endangered in 2005. Blossom, a reproductive-age mother of three, has been missing since 2008 (pictured here with her son Blackberry). Slide 20: Their waters are polluted. Contaminants are found in high concentrations in these orcas, affecting their immune and reproductive systems. Everett and his mother Tahoma, pictured above, died within weeks of each other in 2000. Everett’s recovered body contained extremely high amounts of toxins. Slide 21: Mothers pass these toxins on to their calves when nursing. Young whales continue to accumulate contaminants throughout their lifetimes. Slide 22: Scientists have identified two additional main threats. Lummi, pictured above, is missing from her pod as of 2008 and is presumed dead. She was estimated to be 98 years old. Slide 23: 1. They are hungry! Chinook salmon, the preferred food of these whales, are depleted, leading to possible starvation. Salmon frequently hide in the kelp, so orcas are often found there looking for prey. Slide 24: 2. They live in a region with high vessel traffic. Vessel effects on orcas are largely unknown but may interfere with their ability to find prey. Many scientists are conducting research to find answers. Slide 25: With a recent decline of almost 20%, this genetically, socially, and culturally distinct population now has only 88 whales. (population number as of Jan. 2010) Slide 26: It’s not too late to recover this population! What can you do to help the Southern Resident orcas? Slide 27: Choose land-based whale watching or a tour operator who respects the “Be Whale Wise” guidelines & state regulations and employs professional naturalists. Slide 28: Consult the Seafood Watch card or call the “Fish Phone” when purchasing seafood. These help support sustainable fishery practices and provide information on healthy options. www.seafoodwatch.org www.blueocean.org/fishphone Slide 29: Support legislators and legislation that make positive changes for clean water, contaminant cleanup, and salmon restoration. Slide 30: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle! Go organic; join a carpool; walk or bike; use earth-friendly cleaning products; and share what you learn! Minimize your personal footprint on the planet: Slide 31: Support The Whale Museum whose mission is to promote stewardship of the whales and their ecosystem through education and research. Credits: Show produced by: Sam Buck Julie Corey Sharon Grace Cindy Hansen Edited by: Jenny L. Atkinson Nikki Ruggiero Val Veirs, Ph.D. Photos provided by: Sam Buck Julie Corey Sharon Grace Cindy Hansen Val Veirs Sound track from live recordings of the Southern Resident orcas made by Beam Reach. Available on www.OrcaSound.net ?2010 - www.WhaleMuseum.org Slide 32: The Whale Museum recently won the Best Museum category with King 5’s "2009 Northwest Escapes“ contest. Almost 21,000 people voted in the 2009 contest! Slide 33: Museum Exhibit Hall and Store In the Gallery of Whales, visitors learn about the natural history of marine mammals, with a special focus on the Southern Resident killer whales. Purchases from The Whale Museum store contribute to the Museum’s mission of education and research. Slide 34: Programs Currently, there are approximately 80 whales in three pods that are available for adoption through The Whale Museum’s Orca Adoption Program.The funds raised through this program help directly support ongoing research on the orcas and other marine mammals in the area. Slide 35: Soundwatch Boater Education Program Programs The Whale Museum's Soundwatch Boater Education Program was created to respond to boat traffic and its effects on marine species. Slide 36: Network responders investigate live and dead stranded marine mammals, collect data, and decide the suitable response. Marine Mammal Stranding Network Programs Slide 37: Programs Education: Marine Naturalist Training Program Guided Museum Tours Naturalist Workshops Scholastic Programs Gray Whale Project Pod Nods Slide 38: Programs Research The Whale Museum's Fellowship Program has sponsored 32 independent investigators and almost 100 interns over the years, as well as four bachelor theses, five masters theses, and four doctoral theses in marine mammal conservation.