Sometimes called the wolves of the sea, these spectacular mammals – the largest dolphin species – are up against some big threats to their survival.
One of the best-loved and best-known orca (or ‘killer whale’) groups, the Southern Resident population, inhabits waters off the Oregon, Washington and British Columbia coast.
And they’re the most endangered killer whales on earth.
Your donation to Defenders is the best investment you can make to save orcas and the other wildlife you love.
The Southern Resident wild orca population has suffered steady declines and is down to fewer than 80 animals. The immediate problem is lack of food. The Chinook salmon on which they depend for food are themselves endangered. But toxic pollution and a changing climate are also taking their toll.
When orcas don’t get enough salmon to eat, they become weak and vulnerable to a host of other threats, from toxins to noise to harassment to birth complications. With birth rates low and calf mortality high we must act now to break this cycle. And salmon are the key.
Defenders is working closely with local and national environmental groups and scientists to develop a comprehensive strategy to address all of threats to this endangered population of orcas and implement tactics to recover them.
When you support Defenders, you’re part of a team that includes the nation’s best wildlife lawyers, biologists, and advocates united to keep wildlife and wild places thriving.