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Ask an Expert with Dr. Giles (Center for Whale Research)

Dr. DA Giles is the research director for the Center for Whale Research (CWR), now in its 40th year of studying the Southern Resident orca population.  In the first of a two-part Q&A packed with information about this unique community, she covers the history of the Southern Residents and where the population stands now.  In part…

Tilikum and the history of wild orca captures

Although Tilikum has been a captive whale for most of his life – the past 33 years – he started life as wild orca in the cold waters of the North Atlantic, a free Icelandic whale.  Tilikum was a victim of the wild capture efforts that shifted to Iceland and the North Atlantic after they…

SeaWorld SHOULD support sanctuaries

Given SeaWorld’s amazing announcement last month, its more recent publicity condemning both release and sanctuaries for captive orcas was a big disappointment, including in its representation of what happened to Keiko, the Free Willy whale. In fact, SeaWorld is better placed than any other company holding orcas in captivity, to ensure that no further orcas die in its facilities…

Groups Welcome Federal Agency’s Decision to Protect Russian Beluga Whales

Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Cetacean Society International (CSI), and Earth Island Institute (EII) lauded the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for its proposed designation of the Sakhalin Bay-Amur River population of beluga whales in Russia as depleted under the US Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). A depleted designation would…

Nearly Time For Dinner…

The migratory salmon are almost running in big enough enough numbers to get the attention of the local dolphin population around the Inner Moray Firth. Famous salmon rivers such as the Tay and Spey are recording good runs now so with a bit of luck I will soon be seeing and photographing prey manipulation like…

Why are beached whales taken to landfill?

The sight of any beached whale or dolphin can be really distressing for onlookers, even for scientists like me who visit strandings on a regular basis. After watching the ‘whale fall’ experiment on Britain’s Whales on ITV, many of supporters were asking why stranded whales are often taken to landfill rather than being placed to…