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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.
But all is not well. Orcas need clean, uncontaminated water and plentiful fish. Salmon, the Salish Sea orcas' main food source, are in historic decline throughout the region. Habitat degradation, industrial poisons such as PCBs, 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.
Orca Network presents the proposal to retire the captive L pod orca known as Lolita to her home waters. Please look over a letter to all supporters, and recent photos of Lolita.
the natural history of orcas?
Go to Orcas of the Salish Sea.
Orcas In Our Midst
Volume 3, Residents and Transients - How did that happen?
(Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any problems.)
Volume 2, The Next Generation
Orcas In Our Midst
Volume 1, The Salish Watershed
Not-so-new L pod baby L118!
Keto and Tilikum Express the Stress of Orca Captivity
Photo by Peter Pijpelink
Dutch marine park says rescued juvenile orca destined for captivity
NMFS Satellite Tagging Permit Application Information
Visit Orca Network on
Orca Network has joined people across Washington on a new project:
Working Snake River for Washington
Hoyt, Rose and Garrett study on education at marine parks
Blog by Howard Garrett
Ice Harbor Dam, Snake River
NOAA: Restore CA Chinook to save Southern Resident orcas
California water plan aims to save Puget Sound orcas
Candace Calloway Whiting's Orca Blogs in the Seattle P-I
Puget Sound Orca Recovery Plan
January 24, 2008
Orca Network's comments on the NMFS Orca Recovery Plan
Read the letter here.
(28 meg .m4a file)
Do Orcas Use Symbols?
or Poster presentation (10.5 MB pdf).
See Global Warming Threatens Cold-Water Fish