Saving These Rare Orcas? Protect Their Favorite Haunts


New research shows that this whale [“southern resident” orcas]  population — divvied up into three lively pods — loves to travel, especially in the winter. Last year scientists found that, over the course of just a few months, they cruised from Cape Flattery, at the far northwestern tip of Washington, down along the Oregon Coast to Northern California’s Point Reyes.

Along the way, these close-knit family groups traveled through more than 9,000 square miles of marine habitat, often in search of migrating salmon at the base of coastal rivers. Now that we know, it only makes sense to protect those migratory areas too.

That’s why this week, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to designate the whales’ winter foraging areas along the West Coast as protected “critical habitat.”

Article by: Miyoko Sakashita

Photo courtesy of NOAA

Published: January 17, 2014

Published by: The Huffington Post

Read the original article here.