killer whales

Killer whales
1:02 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

6 orcas identified off West Seattle as sun sets

In this photo taken Monday, the dorsal fin of an orca whale is seen as the animal swims in Puget Sound in view of the setting sun as seen from Seattle's West Seattle neighborhood.
The Associated Press

More than a dozen killer whales swimming past West Seattle gave residents a spectacular sight Monday as the sun set.

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Environment
11:21 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Seattle researcher uses DNA to fight ivory trade, protect elephants

Soldiers arrange a pyre of elephant tusks and thousands of pieces of worked ivory as they prepare to burn ivory stocks corresponding to roughly 850 dead elephants, in Libreville, Gabon, on June 27, 2012.
The Associated Press

Ivory, it’s that beautiful creamy white, sometimes even pinkish tooth that can only be had by killing an elephant. Now, A researcher at the University of Washington is helping to put a dent in the illegal ivory trade in Africa. His name is Sam Wasser and he is the director of the center for conservation biology at the University of Washington.

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Killer whales
4:32 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Survival of male orcas depends on older females, study shows

A baby orca, sex unknown, was seen swimming between its mother and grandmother in Puget Sound in August.
James Maya Maya's Westside Charters

Researchers in the San Juan Islands say the survival of older female Orcas, after they go through menopause, helps younger males stay alive longer.

That might not surprise many humans, but scientists well-versed in the behavior of Orca whales say it’s a relatively new conclusion. And, in many species, females don’t live long after the end of their reproductive life.

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Diversions
10:47 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Photos: Killer whale caught catching air in Puget Sound

First photo in a series catching a killer whale breaching near South Beach in Puget Sound on Monday.
James Maya Maya's Westside Charters

James Maya, a ship captain and owner of a whale watching company, took these photos of an orca breaching on Monday off South Beach on San Juan Island.

He said this was the only whale breach that evening and he just happened to have his camera at the ready. These breaches are not uncommon, he added.

“Sometimes they just go crazy,” he said. 

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Killer whale rules
11:59 am
Thu August 16, 2012

No fine yet for closing on Puget Sound orcas

Boaters are being reminded about a 2011 requirement to stay at least 200 yards away from orcas. Previously it was just a guideline.
Andrew Reding Flickr

A boater who was caught by the Coast Guard too close to Puget Sound killer whales won't be penalized, but next  summer violators could be fined thousands of dollars.

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Puget Sound orcas
1:53 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Newborn orca calf reported in Puget Sound

The new calf, believed to have been born on Monday, is the first offspring of 11-year-old J37.
Center for Whale Research

BREMERTON, Wash. — A newborn orca calf has been reported off the west side of San Juan Island in the Puget Sound.

The Center for Whale Research reports the new calf was first spotted midday Monday among the adults of J pod, one of three killer whale pods that frequent Puget Sound.

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Killer Whales
5:09 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Possible albino killer whale spotted off Russian coast

The all-white killer whale is shown in this screen grab from a ITN video.

An all-white orca has been spotted by scientists during a research cruise off the eastern coast of Russia, near the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Commander Islands in the North Pacific, reports ABC news. The scientists have named the orca Iceberg.

“It is a breathtakingly beautiful animal,” Eric Hoyt, one of the scientists, told the AFP. “If we can get a full close-up of the eyes and they are pink, it would confirm Iceberg is an albino, but we don’t know much about albinism in orcas.”

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Killer Whales
7:18 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Mystery surrounds bruised and bloody killer whale carcass

Necropsy team including personnel from Portland State University, Seaside Aquarium, Cascadia Research, Seattle Seal Sitters and WDFW.
Dyanna Lambourn WDFW

The bruised and bloody carcass of an endangered killer whale washed ashore at Long Beach, Wash., this weekend. An initial necropsy did not pinpoint a cause of death.

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Environment
12:02 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Researchers on hunt for killer whales' winter hideout

A porpoising juvenile transient orca. Photo by Richard Dudley/Flickr

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 5:45 pm

This week , federal biologists will cast off on a research cruise from NOAA's new homeport in Newport, Oregon. They hope to crack an enduring mystery about some of the most studied killer whales on earth. Namely, where do the Northwest's resident orca whales go in the winter?

Every winter, the three pods of orca whales that call Northwest waters home just disappear into the wild blue yonder. Research biologist Dawn Noren and colleagues from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center are about to embark on a three-week mission to find them.

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Environment
11:09 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Whale activists sue to free killer whale 'Lolita' from captivity

In this 1970 photo by Wallie Funk, orca whales are held captive near Whidbey Island. Seven of the dozens of whales captured, including Lolita, who has been performing stunts for Miami Seaquarium for the past four decades, were sold to marine parks.
Associated Press

Supporters have offered $1 million for her release. Annual demonstrations have demanded her return to the Northwest.

Over the years, celebrities, schoolchildren and even a Washington state governor have campaigned to free Lolita, a killer whale captured from Puget Sound in 1970 and who has performed at Miami Seaquarium for the past four decades.

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Environment
2:45 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

Killer whales near Alaska village, appear stressed

Orcas, like the one pictured, have been seen farther up the Nushagak River than ever before.
DeWaine Tollefsrud Flikr

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Three killer whales have made an unusual trek up the Nushagak River in southwest Alaska.

NOAA Fisheries-Alaska region spokeswoman Julie Speegle says residents have seen killer whales at the mouth of the river, but never this far upriver.

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Endangered Species
8:39 am
Mon March 7, 2011

Iconic killer whale is missing

The last known photo of the killer whale known as J-1, foraging at Constance Bank near Victoria, B.C. on November 21, 2010.
Mark Malleson Courtesy of orcanetwork.org

The oldest and perhaps most-recognizable of the local killer whales is missing and researchers fear he may have died over the winter.

The orca known to researchers as J-1 was last seen on November 21st near Victoria, B.C. Also known as “Ruffles,” for the wavy edge to his distinctive six-foot-tall dorsal fin, J-1 was believed to be about 60 years old. He was one of the first individual orcas to be identified by researchers in the early 19-70s.

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Endangered Species
5:44 am
Mon February 14, 2011

Endangered whales need endangered salmon

LA Times

We’ve known for a long time that killer whales eat salmon. But new findings suggest that local orcas rely on salmon – specifically, adult Chinook salmon – more than previously thought. So now fisheries managers are having to ask themselves: What happens when endangered whales depend on endangered fish?

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