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Orcasphere » Southern resident natural history
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Southern resident natural history Archive

NOAA’s search & tag cruise embarks


Last update — 3/2/2012, 10:00 Brad Hanson and his colleagues from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, including Marla Holt and Dawn Noren, embarked today (2/16/12) from Newport, OR, aboard the NOAA ship Shimada (MMSI 369970147) to search for southern resident killer whales (SRKWs) along the outer coast of Oregon and Washington, and possibly California and [...]

Canadian recovery plans need public comment


Thanks to Cathy Bacon for forwarding this notice regarding Canadian “action plans” for recovering the northern and southern resident killer whale populations. It will be interesting to see to what extent managing salmon (farmed or wild) for killer whales is mentioned in the plans… Discuss here and comment officially when you can! > From: “XPAC [...]

Updates from NOAA on Elwha science


Yesterday Sarah Morely of NOAA/NWFSC Watershed Program, Fish Ecology Division gave a 40-minute synopsis of the “Elwha River Dam Removal – Past, Present, Future.”  My notes are appended and the NOAA site has an abstract with recommended references (also appended in case the link breaks). The most interesting aspect of the talk from the perspective [...]

Explosive Condit dam removal: more Columbia salmon on winter menu?


Kim Pokorny of the Oregonian reports progress on cleaning up the White Salmon River, a tributary on the lower Columbia, in preparation for an October 26 explosive removal.  This is good news for future foraging by southern resident killer whales who are known to target main stem Columbia fish when foraging on the Washington and [...]

L pod in SF Bay


I love this quote from a spokeswoman from the Marine Sanctuary outside of San Francisco Bay where L pod was observed foraging last week: “It’s nice they’re showing up, but it’s too bad there’s not enough food for them up north,” Schramm said. That’s pretty funny since L pod is almost surely pursuing salmon of [...]

Cousteau talks of killer whales on KUOW


On January 31, 2011, Michel Cousteau was a guest on Steve Scher’s Weekday show on KUOW. Though he was talking generally about how our actions (even far inland) affect the oceans, he ended up talking extensively about killer whales. He proved himself quite knowledgeable about resident killer whales (especially 5:00-8:00 and 25:30- 27:30). As an [...]

Orcas, Elliott Bay, and the Duwamish


A January 3 Seattle Times story entitled “EPA unveils options for Duwamish cleanup” makes me wonder whether southern residents would enter Elliott Bay more often if the salmon runs were restored to the Duwamish and Green Rivers.  In a few years of listening, we’ve not yet detected Southern Residents Killer Whales entering Elliott Bay enough [...]

Orca genetics talk by Phillip Moran


Using next generation sequencing to generate whole mitochondrial genomes for population genetics and phylogeography of cetaceans Dr. Phillip Morin, Protected Resources Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center Abstract and bio Live blog notes: Hoelzel et al 2002 found extremely low genetic diversity in control region (1000 base pairs): only 13 haplotypes from 100 samples from global [...]

Salmon & orcas in Patagonia catalog


The new Patagonia catalog (out yesterday) has a full page spread by Steven Hawley entitled “The Idaho Tide.”  It eloquently connects the wolves of Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness with Snake River salmon and the southern residents, and it includes a great paragraph (below) with a quote-worthy line by Ken Balcomb: “I think any reasonable biologist [...]

Orcas and salmon in new Cascadia Scorecard


The Sightline Institute has just released a new Cascadia Scorecard that attempts to track progress towards sustainability in Cascadia, the ecoregion encompassing much of western Washington and southern British Columbia. Southern resident killer whales and chinook salmon are featured within the scorecard’s wildlife indicator along with wolves, sage grouse, and caribou. While the wolf population [...]