Category: Vertebrates

Northern Resident Killer Whales

Andrew Trites

We are using drones, hydro-acoustics, and underwater cameras and data loggers to compare the abundance and accessibility of chinook salmon available to northern and southern resident killer whales to determine whether the decline of the southern residents is due to a food shortage in southern British Columbia. These new technologies are providing a more complete picture of killer whales and their ecosystems. In this photo, members of one of the pods of northern resident killer whales have come together to move to a new feeding area. Podding up provides an opportunity for individuals to socialize and physically re-connect with one another—and shows the power of touch to maintain social bonds among family members.