Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Killer Whale

Orcinus orcus

This whale is identified by the long dorsal fin and the white markings on the head and underside. The southern resident killer whale population is declining in size, presently with less than 100 animals. Killer whales have a low reproductive rate, late age of maturity, long gestation period (up to 17 months) and may reproduce only at intervals of five years or more. They are vulnerable to marine pollution, declining fish stocks, marine vessel collisions, and harassment by boaters. Boaters should observe the  Be Whale Wise guidelines. Boats should keep clear of the path of whales, not approach within 100 meters, and limit viewing time to 30 minutes.

Photo credit. Laura Matthias

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