Killer Whale Trail

Elaine Sutton
• Monday, 17 January, 2022
• 16 min read

It’s a trail rich with whales and tales of adventure, a self-drive day tour that takes you to five historical sites set in breathtaking natural surrounds around Eden on the Sapphire Coast NSW. Between August and November, these sites become perfect vantage points to view humpback whales as they migrate close to the coast.

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(Source: www.visitnsw.com)


Bring your smartphone to scan the interpretive signs and view historical photos, video and audio to delve deeper into the story of the Killer Whales of Eden. Recorded in 1999, this includes interviews with people who were witness to many of the events you’ll learn about on the KillerWhaleTrail.

To view an individual point of interest, click on a marker below and select 'more info'. Camera, smartphone with QR code reader (not necessary, but can be used to access images, videos and extra historical content by scanning the interpretive signage on the trail).

In spring, take your binoculars to spot whales from the museum, lookout and Boyd’s Tower. To view an individual point of interest, click on a marker below and select 'more info'.

Very strong, handcrafted DR tool, currently offered in 3/8 diameter. Super effective to move a large amount of metal instantly.

Alexandra Morton is with Jared Towers and Ron Wilson Jr. The A5 northern resident orca were seen entering the Brought on yesterday for the 1st time in 25 years. Then in 1995 the Hardwood I. salmon farm began using acoustic harassment devices, so loud they repelled seals by causing searing pain in their ears.

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(Source: www.apexpredators.com)

Turn the sound on the hear the stranded juvenile vocvocalizing a video recorded yesterday on Orkney. Experts are analyzing the calls to see if they are familiar to any previously recorded orcas in North Atlantic waters.

Emma Neave-Webb to Orkney Cetacean Group Following the successful Orca rescue yesterday, someone (can't remember who sorry, it's been a little mad!) Here is a short clip of the animal just as we arrived and were sorting kit and doing health assessments.

At present, the vocalizations are being analyzed by experts in the UK and Iceland to see if we can match this animal to a population or individual, so I'll update when there is news. Also, in case anyone is interested, BDM LR Orkney will be on the news tonight at 18:30 talking more about the rescue.

Local residents Colin and Heather Head worth ha...opened to spot the animal lying in the surf from their house and called fellow Sunday resident and BDM LR Area Coordinator Emma Neave-Webb who notified the small local team. On arrival in the stranding site, Medics found the animal was in fact a young orca in good condition, but lying on its side in the surf parallel to the sea with the tide quickly coming in.

After putting out a shout to local residents for more manpower, the team immediately set about up-righting the animal to aid breathing and to ensure the blowhole was out the water. After about an hour and with help from local residents to stabilize the animal, it suddenly took matters into its own fins and made a move to swim off.

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(Source: wildwhales.org)

Unable to hold the animal any longer, the stretcher was lowered and the orca swam forward straight out towards the open sea. It rolled a couple of times and then submerged and continued straight out away from the beach without looking back.

After monitoring for an hour, Medics were confident the animal was no longer in the location and are hopeful it will stay out. At 3.4 meters in length, this is a young Orca around 3 to 4 years of age which is no longer maternally dependent.

An incoming tide meant the focus was on righting the animal, monitoring breathing, etc so sexing wasn’t carried out but from ID photos taken, it is thought this was a young male. This might explain why there was no sign of any other animals in the bay; as a juvenile it may have left its pod, or they could perhaps simply be further offshore.

Orca are seen fairly regularly around Orkney and in fact, the North Isles 27s pod were seen nearby off Illness, Sunday on Christmas Day hunting seals. However, consultation with Hugh Harrow in Shetland indicates that this may not be a known animal so is perhaps not part of the North Isles resident pods.

We'd like to thank Medics Russell Leave and Imogene Sawyer, and Sunday residents Colin and Heather Head worth, Path Swift and Simon Oldfield, Anna Alford and Martin Sawyer for all your assistance as well as HM Coastguard for advice. If you would like to help fund this and other essential kit for the team, please do donate via our Sustaining page.

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(Source: www.dailyedge.ie)

Nick McCartney is with Kelly Nicole. So interesting to watch yesterday's Orca behavior. One animal has a fin visibly protruding out ...the water distracting a seal while another makes a stealth approach.

They came right inshore in a small GUL...LY (less than a meter away at times) and proceed to what I can only assume was trying to catch seals for the next half hour. In many ways it was an incredible good opportunity missed for creating some fascinating video, but I needed a wide angle lens and that was in the car.

It made me question how I could be more prepared to make the most of these opportunistic moments, plans are forming. Orca Guardians Iceland The jury has decided and here are the 4 finalists of our naming competition: “Loki”, “Hit”, “Loki”, and “Sulfur”.

CP is a remote outpost where Johnstone Strait meets Blacked Pass, where one or two researchers (normally the awesome Megan and Shari wild_sky_productions and sharing) spend their summers documenting the whales, collecting data on photoed, behavior, acoustics and the...IR movements. To find out more check out OrcaLabexplore.org webcams or the Whale and Dolphin Conservation adopt an orca program OOcala CP and Johnstone Strait are incredible places, filled with wonderful happy memories for me.

On examination, she was found to be one of the most toxic killer whales ever studied, with her polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) level 100x higher than the accepted threshold for the species. We must do better to understand how our activities impact our precious natural world and do everything in our power to mitigate against the damage caused.

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(Source: www.blogarama.com)

Drop a note to info@thewhaletrail.org with a link to the content, and we’ll take a look. Globally, killer whales occur in a wide range of habitats, both open seas and coastal waters.

In addition, although live capture of killer whales for aquarium display and marine parks no longer occurs in the United States, it remains a threat globally. Today, some killer whale populations face many other threats, including food limitations, chemical contaminants, and disturbances from vessel traffic and sound.

Efforts to establish critical habitat, set protective regulations, and restore prey stocks are essential to conservation, especially for endangered killer whale populations. Long-term commitments across state and national borders are needed to stabilize the Southern Residents’ population and prevent their extinction.

This initiative includes animals considered most at risk for extinction and prioritizes recovery efforts. NOAA Fisheries is committed to the conservation of killer whales and the protection and recovery of endangered populations.

We also work with our partners to develop regulations and management plans that protect killer whales and their food sources, decrease contaminants in oceans, reduce ocean noise, and raise awareness about the whales and the actions people can take to support their recovery. In 2004, NOAA Fisheries designated this group as depleted under the MMP based on the results of the status review (PDF, 25 pages).

(Source: www.660news.com)

Scientists estimate the minimum historical population size of Southern Residents in the eastern North Pacific was about 140 animals. In 2003, NOAA Fisheries began a research and conservation program with congressional funding to address the dwindling population.

Southern Residents were listed as endangered in 2005 under the ESA and a recovery plan (PDF, 251 pages) was completed in 2008. Pods typically consist of a few to 20 or more animals, and larger groups sometimes form for temporary social interactions, mating, or seasonal concentrations of prey.

Each pod in the eastern North Pacific possesses a unique set of calls that are learned and culturally transmitted among individuals. Although the diet of killer whales depends to some extent on what is available where they live, it is primarily determined by the culture (i.e., learned to hunt tactics) for each ecotype of killer whale.

For example, one ecotype of killer whales in the U.S. Pacific Northwest (called Residents) exclusively eats fish, mainly salmon, and another ecotype in the same area (Transients, or Big’s killer whales) primarily eats marine mammals and squid. Killer whales often use a coordinated hunting strategy and work as a team to catch prey.

Transient killer whales occur throughout the eastern North Pacific, and are often seen in coastal waters. Lack of Food Overfishing and habitat loss have decreased the amount of prey available to some killer whales.

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(Source: georgiastrait.org)

This threat is especially important for Southern Resident killer whales because some populations of their preferred prey, Chinook salmon, are also threatened or endangered. Killer whales accumulate these contaminants in their bodies because of their long lifespan, position at the top of the food chain, and blubber stores.

Despite modern pollution controls, chemical contamination through the food chain continues to threaten killer whales. However, oil spills can also have an indirect impact on killer whales by affecting the abundance of prey species.

Increased vessel noise causes Southern Resident killer whales to call louder, expending more energy in the process. AnimaliaChordataMammaliaCetaceaDelphinidae Orcinusorca NOAA Fisheries is committed to the protection and recovery of all killer whales.

We have focused our conservation efforts to help rebuild endangered and depleted populations on the West Coast and Alaska. Learn more about our conservation efforts Our research projects have discovered new aspects of killer whale biology, behavior, and ecology and helped us better understand the challenges they face.

This research is especially important in rebuilding endangered and depleted populations and informing management decisions. The Whitetail includes many land-based observation sites where you can view and learn about killer whales and other marine mammals.

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(Source: www.facebook.com)

Report a sick, injured, entangled, stranded, or dead animal to make sure professional responders and scientists know about it and can take appropriate action. Call the NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at (800) 853-1964 to report a federal marine resource violation.

Gordon Chew uses a GoPro on a pole to assess the humpback entanglement while Steve Lewis carefully negotiates the full circumference of the whale. Taking in the view at one of The WhaleTrail's northernmost stops in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

There are three main types of killer whales in the North Pacific: Resident, Transient, and Offshore. Transient killer whales have straighter dorsal fins and only two types of saddle markings.

Pods typically consist of two to 15 animals, but larger groups sometimes form for temporary social interaction, mating, or seasonal availability of food. Pod members communicate with each other through underwater sounds such as clicks, whistles, and pulsed calls.

Each pod in the Pacific Northwest possesses a unique set of sounds that are learned and culturally transmitted among individuals. The endangered Southern Residents are an icon of the Pacific Northwest and inspire widespread public interest, curiosity, and awe around the globe.

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(Source: orcaspirit.com)

Southern Residents face depleted prey, disturbance from vessels and sound, and are also a highly contaminated marine mammal population. We have come a long way in our understanding and ability to protect this unique population, and in 2014 we summarized a decade of research and conservation activities in a special report.

They have been spotted as far south as central California during the winter months and as far north as Southeast Alaska. In recent years we have increased our knowledge about their coastal habitat use through our Northwest Fisheries Science Center's satellite tagging work, passive acoustic monitoring, and collecting new sightings.

It is hoped that focused efforts and critical investments within NOAA Fisheries, and continued engagement with our vital partners, will stabilize and prevent the Southern Resident killerwhale's extinction. Past research has shown that some of the most important threats facing the whales, such as prey limitation and high contaminant levels, cannot be addressed without a long-term commitment.

Recovery of threatened and endangered salmon, for example, is a monumental task in itself and is expected to take many years. We also must consider new threats and actions as we look to a future with climate change, new alternative ocean energy projects, and continuing development along our coasts and in our ports.

In the next 5 to 10 years, several high-priority projects are planned to help answer these remaining questions and inform management actions to advance recovery. Digital acoustic suction cup tags are shedding light on foraging behavior for the whales and how finding and catching salmon may be affected by vessels and sound.

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(Source: www.ecosummer.com)

Seasonal health assessments, habitat use, and understanding body condition changes and times and places with prey limitations will all be taken into consideration when determining the need for additional conservation actions. With more than 10 years of funding, collaboration, and ingenuity we have taken substantial and important steps to aid Southern Resident killer whale recovery.

Understanding the factors that affect the whales' health will help us identify the most important threats, how they interact, and what we can do to reduce their effects. Recovery of the Southern Residents and their preferred salmon prey, as well as protection of their broad and diverse habitat, is a long-term process that requires support over a large geographic area, from California to southeast Alaska.

The continued success of research and conservation programs relies on leveraging resources and maximizing impact through partnerships. It will take at least that long for us to evaluate the effectiveness of the protective measures put in place in the past several years.

Jeff Hogan has partnered with NOAA for more than a decade and has helped implement many important recovery actions for endangered Southern Resident killer whales. It uses storytelling and field-based science to inspire students to take an active role in the conservation of Pacific Northwest killer whales.

In 2018, the Southern Resident KillerWhale Task Force was established by Governor Jay Inslee. Governor Inslee brought state authorities, significant investments, and new members of the community to the ongoing fight to recover the iconic Southern Resident killer whales.

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(Source: vistapointe.net)

The Task Force developed recommendations for short- and long-term actions needed to protect and recover Southern resident killer whales. This means that the population of Southern Residents is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Support salmon restoration efforts in the region to ensure an adequate prey base. Reduce vessel effects by improving whale watching guidelines and establishing regulations or protected areas as needed.

Rather than convening a recovery team for Southern Resident killer whales, we used an open public process to engage as many interested stakeholder groups and individuals as possible and work with a variety of partners to implement the action in the plan. Critical Habitat Designation Once a species is listed under the ESA, NOAA Fisheries evaluates and identifies whether any areas meet the .

Federal agencies that undertake, fund, or permit activities that may affect these designated critical habitat areas are required to consult with NOAA Fisheries to ensure that their actions do not adversely modify or destroy designated critical habitat. In 2006, NOAA Fisheries designated inland waters of Washington State as critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale.

In 2014, NOAA Fisheries started a process to revise the critical habitat of Southern Residents in response to a petition (PDF, 35 pages). In 2019, NOAA Fisheries published a proposed rule to modify critical habitat to include coastal waters off of Washington, Oregon, and California.

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(Source: funpeep.com)

Supporting Salmon Restoration Efforts Chinook salmon stocks are currently lower than historic levels, putting Southern Resident killer whales at risk for decreased reproductive rates and increased mortality rates. Some species of West Coast salmon are currently protected under the ESA and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Our scientists have also organized workshops and panels to better understand the effects of salmon fisheries on Southern Resident killer whales. To address this, NOAA joined the Puget Sound Partnership, a program that helps prevent contamination in Southern Resident habitat and collaborated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Washington State agencies to develop a plan to fill gaps in research and monitoring.

NOAA's Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program, which cleans up existing contamination, also has several active projects in the Pacific Northwest and California. Preventing Oil Spills and Improving Response PreparationCoordinating with Canadian Agencies, and U.S. Federal and State Partners Because Southern Residents range from California to Alaska, recovery of their population requires cooperation across state and national borders.

Developing Vessel Regulations and Minimizing Whale Watching Harassment NOAA Fisheries supports responsible viewing of marine mammals in the wild and has adopted a guideline to observe all marine mammals from a safe distance of at least 100 yards by sea or land. When stranded animals are found dead, our scientists work to understand and investigate the cause of death.

Although the cause often remains unknown, scientists can sometimes identify standings due to disease, harmful algal blooms, vessel strikes, fishing gear entanglements, pollution exposure, and underwater noise. To understand the health of marine mammal populations, scientists study unusual mortality events.

All marine mammals, including killer whales, are protected in the United States under the MMP. AT1 Transient Population In 2002, the National Wildlife Federation petitioned (PDF, 10 pages) NOAA Fisheries to designate the AT1 Transient pod as depleted after its drastic decline following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

In 2003, NOAA Fisheries reviewed a petition concerning the possibility that the AT1 killer whale group of Prince William Sound may be genetically distinct from other killer whales in Alaska, and may be depleted. NOAA Fisheries scientists are leading the effort to answer key questions about the risk factors potentially affecting killer whales, with a special focus on the Southern Resident population.

Current research focuses on killer whales’ behavior, ecology, health, and human-caused effects. This research aims to provide a comparative assessment of nutritional status to guide management of these two protected populations.

A Southern Resident killer whale “spy hopping” off San Juan Island, Washington. This research helps determine the winter migration, feeding habits, and range of Southern Residents.

This research helps address threats like vessel disturbance, noise exposure, and effects on feeding. Scientists study the transfer of contaminants from mother to offspring through blood during gestation and through milk during lactation.

This research helps us understand whether young whales are at greater risk than adults for negative health effects from contaminants. Our scientists study the amount of energy dolphins need to produce loud sounds.

Our scientists collect population information on killer whales from various sources and present the data in annual stock assessment reports.

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