What’s killing the killer whales? After following the whales and analyzing their poop for years, scientists say the Pacific Northwest’s population is dwindling primarily due to a chronic lack of Chinook salmon. The killer whales, also known as orcas, aren’t dying of starvation.
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In this year’s Fourth of July parade in Friday Harbor, sponsored by the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce, 16 organizations — each dedicated to the protection of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale — will be marching together showing their shared support of the orcas.
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This Orca Whale Awareness month, did you know Orca recovery is dependent on salmon recovery? Learn what American Rivers is doing from coast to central landscapes to restore salmon, remove dams, and provide healthy fish runs for oceanic predators.
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When: 12 pm Sun., Jun. 25 San Juan County officials and others are coming up with ways to protect Southern Resident killer whales.
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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is taking proposals for grant funding to support orca whale conservation through its Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program.
Since its start in 2015, the program has invested about $1.9 million in orca conservation, primarily through research and restoration to help the endangered southern resident orcas that live in the Salish Sea.
The grant program supports work to increase food for the orcas — primarily chinook salmon — as well as improve habitat and fill research gaps.
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San Juan County officials are brainstorming local ways to protect Southern resident killer whales. Suggestions at the June 6 council meeting ranged from more enforcement of current state boating regulations to a 10-year moratorium on catching Chinook salmon in the county.
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A handful of families on the coast live in appalling conditions. Heavy industry and traffic have taken over their neighbourhoods. They now live amid significant pollution, and endure high risk of accidents on the busy byways cutting through their communities.
Healthy food has become hard to find in their neighbourhoods and is costly to obtain. Pregnancies often end badly. Few babies survive their first years. Even adults face increased risk of dying early.
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June is Orca Awareness Month in the Pacific Northwest. Officially declared in Washington several years ago, Oregon and British Columbia joined unofficially last year, and it’s a good thing they did. Orcas are in serious and life-altering danger, with seven adult southern resident killer whales lost last year, including the 105-year-old matriarch known as Granny.
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June is Orca Awareness Month, a time to show appreciation for our beloved orcas and to encourage a culture of stewardship to protect these majestic animals and their fragile habitat. A goal of this year’s Orca Month is to raise awareness of how the very waters that the orcas call home are posing a serious threat to their survival. This unique population faces a barrage of pressures in these troubled waters including toxic pollution, underwater noise disturbance, oil spills, and above all, a lack of their main prey: Chinook salmon.
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