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Orca Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.

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June 2016 is Orca Awareness Month!

Graphic design courtesy of Sara Hysong-Shimazu

2016 Orca Awareness Month Events

Wednesday, June 1st, 7 pm - Orca Month begins with a talk about Lolita/Tokitae, which always means about her family and the natural history of orcas. - at Anacortes Public Library, 1220 10th St, Anacortes, WA. Call 360-293-1910 ext. 21 for details | Free

Saturday, June 4th, 5:30 pm - Dana Lyons Concert, with Audri Cooke - at Langley Whale Center, 115 Anthes, Langley WA. | $10 suggested donation

Saturday, June 18, 10am - 4:30pm - Orcas In Our Midst Workshop to celebrate and learn about Southern Resident Orcas - at Whidbey Children's Theater in Langley. | $25 Students and Seniors; $35 General.
See schedule and register HERE.


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LSRPetition0115
Click on petition to sign.

For the complete picture of diminishing Snake River wild chinook - so crucial for the survival of Southern Resident orcas - and the quickest way to bring back abundant runs, see a new white paper on Columbia basin chinook, called The Case for Breaching the Four Lower Snake River Dams to Recover Wild Snake River Salmon.



If you're out boating and spot a pod of orcas, please follow the BeWhaleWise regulations and guidelines, and
stay at least 200 yards from the orcas. And make sure to post a sightings report and photos here!


Orca Network Ways of Whales Workshop 2015 presentation videos


Puget Sound Land-Based Whale Sighting View Points
The Southern Resident orcas often forage in Puget Sound during fall months in search of chum salmon, and mammal-eating Transient orcas, or Bigg's Killer Whales, may visit in search of seals, sea lions and porpoises any time of year. To help observers find good locations to view the whales Orca Network has assembled the best viewing spots between Anacortes and Olympia into a google map that can be zoomed in to find directions to each beach, roadside, or bluff for optimum viewing. If you live near Puget Sound, Possession Sound, Saratoga Passage, Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, or Fidalgo Island, you can find the best whale-watching spots near you by clicking HERE.



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The Langley Whale Center opened March 1, 2014.
Check out the Langley Whale Center Facebook page.



A
n extended clan of Orcinus orca, or orcas, socialize and forage in the inland waters of Washington State and British Columbia. Both male and female offspring remain with their mothers their entire lives. No other species, and not all orca communities, show lifetime association of mothers with both male and female offspring. Cultural traditions such as lifetime family bonding allow distinct vocal repertoires and complex social systems to develop within each pod and community, unlike any other mammal except humans. Their dialects are similar to human language groups, and assure them a place in their society. Known as the Southern Resident Orca community, or the Salish Sea Orcas, they move gracefully just downstream from an increasingly urban landscape.

Worldwide field studies are now showing that there are several dozen orca communities distributed throughout marine habitats, each with its own vocal repertoire, its own specialized diet, its own hunting methods and social systems, and each is genetically distinct from all the others. We are on the verge of recognition by the scientific community that orcas can be considered as nomadic foraging tribes, living according to traditions passed down generation after generation, for many thousands of years.

But all is not well. Orcas need clean, uncontaminated water and plentiful fish. Chinook salmon, the Salish Sea orcas' main food source, are in historic decline throughout the region. Habitat degradation, industrial poisons such as PCBs, PBDEs and other impacts of human activities are taking their toll on the orcas we have come to know and love. We are all intricately connected, from tiny plankton to forage fish, salmon, orcas, tall firs and cedars, mountains, rivers and the ocean. It is time to reflect, to reconnect, and to respond as better caretakers of our planet.


Looking for an informative and readable essay on the natural history of orcas?
Go to Orcas of the Salish Sea.


How long do orcas live? For a discussion of orca lifespans, please see Orca Lifespans.


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