Recovery Strategies

Recovery Strategy for the Transient Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) in Canada

The ‘West Coast transient’ population of killer whales (Orcinus orca) is acoustically, genetically and culturally distinct from other killer whale populations known to occupy waters off the west coast of British Columbia. This population was designated as ‘threatened’ by COSEWIC in 2001, and currently numbers approximately 250 animals. Transient killer whales are long-lived upper trophic level predators that are considered to be at risk because of their small population size, their very low reproductive rate (one calf every five years) and their extremely high levels of chemical contaminants that are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Their high contaminant burdens, which have resulted from bioaccumulation in their prey, combined with other anthropogenic threats such as physical and acoustic disturbance, warrant their protection under the Species at Risk Act, and they are currently listed as Threatened.

Consultation period: 2007-08-07 to 2007-10-06

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Director
SARA Directorate
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
200 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E6
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