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On the sea with Soundwatch

There’s a lot of talk about the Southern Resident orcas at this year’s Superpod, and much of the focus is on their top threat: prey depletion.  While on the island, WDC is also examining the other threats to this critically endangered population, including vessel noise and harassment.  I spent a day out on the water yesterday with…

PCB pollution is still killing European porpoises despite ban

Reproductive dysfunction (including a longer calving interval, lower pregnancy rate and later maturation and higher rates of reproductive abnormalities) in UK harbour porpoises may be related to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) exposure, according to a new report. So man-made chemicals that have been heavily restricted in Europe for 30 years are still having terrible impacts on harbour…

Body Language in Bottlenose Dolphins

When you are involved in watching and studying bottlenose dolphin behaviour for any length of time, you begin to notice certain body positions that occur every so often and one that fascinates me is an activity known as “S” posturing. What happens is, as you can see in my recent photo below of ID#1018 “Bodhi”…

Gearing up for Superpod 4

Next week I am heading back to San Juan Island for the fourth annual Superpod gathering, a week of talks, events, Q&A’s, whales, and a general celebration of all things orca.  While past events have primarily focused on captive orcas, the paradigm started to shift last year to include more information on wild orca populations…

Take Action on This Hump(back) Day!

In just a few days, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will receive comments from the public on NMFS’s proposal to remove humpback whales from protections under the Endangered Species Act.  WDC has been campaigning to keep these whales (specifically the North Atlantic Humpback population) listed as endangered species because they have not yet fully…

Claiming Success Too Soon Could Result in Serious Failure

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service has claimed the endangered species act (ESA) a success for humpback whales worldwide; I too agree that the ESA has provided humpbacks the protection they needed after nearly being decimated by commercial whaling, but the story isn’t all that simple. A delisting at this time would be premature and humpback whales are now facing a whole new…