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Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Over 450 pilot whales have stranded in various locations along a stretch of coastline in...
Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

J35 and J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238 Tahlequah...
Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Orcas are one of only five species known to experience menopause and females can live...
Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Wildlife experts in Australia's Northern Territory are monitoring a humpback whale that has travelled 18...

Kinder Morgan stalls, but so does Canadian Government on orca recovery

In good news from Canada, Kinder Morgan has stopped all “non-essential production” of its Trans Mountain pipeline as the province of British Columbia and many First Nations continue to fight the proposal in court.  The pipeline expansion would increase the number of oil tankers – by as many as 408 per year, a 700% increase – travelling through federally designated critical habitat for the endangered Southern Resident orca community.

Citing concerns from shareholders and political risks, Kinder Morgan stopped non-essential spending and construction in early April, and gave the Canadian Federal Government until May 31st to provide assurance to the company and develop an agreement with those opposing the pipeline.  Prime Minister Trudeau continues to support the pipeline, despite multiple environmental concerns and the recognized impacts to the endangered orcas that his administration has committed to protecting.

And despite that promised commitment to protect the endangered Southern Resident orcas and increase recovery efforts, the Canadian Government has continued to stall in identifying and enacting any new initiatives to help the orcas and their primary food, Chinook salmon.  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) acknowledged a petition submitted earlier this year by a coalition of Canadian conservation groups, but has yet to take action and issue the requested emergency order.

Canada has developed significant actions on the East Coast to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales after an unprecedented 18 deaths, 12 of which were in Canadian waters, in less than a year.  DFO is capable of taking action, but is lagging far behind in following through on its promise to recover Southern Resident orcas.

Help WDC protect the home of the Southern Resident orcas:  Sign our letter to expand critical habitat.