The plight of Southern Resident Killer Whales has received international attention in recent years. Too much noise, disturbance and contaminants, and –– perhaps most importantly –– insufficient food, have all played a role in putting this population at serious risk. But while Southern Residents are struggling, other killer whale populations along the west coast are thriving. In this lecture, cetacean research biologist Dr. John Ford describes the importance of cultural traditions in the lives of orcas and how these dictate where they go, who they associate with, what they eat, and, ultimately, how well they can cope with a changing marine environment.
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