Nov
8
Thu
Family feast – Kin-directed Prey Sharing @ Dakota Place Park
Nov 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

 

Family feast – Kin-directed prey sharing behavior in northern resident killer whales

Doors open at 6:15

Resident killer whales prey almost exclusively on salmon and depend particularly on Chinook (the least common species of salmon in the Pacific Northwest), which makes up the majority of their known diet. Despite the importance of Chinook to the survival of individual killer whales, they frequently choose to share this critical resource with family members. Brianna Wright, Eva Stredulinsky, Graeme Ellis and Dr. John Ford conducted a 12-year study (2002-2014) examining patterns of prey sharing behavior among northern resident killer whales. In particular, the talk will discuss the prevalence of prey sharing between close maternal relatives, and the role that this cooperative behavior may have played in the evolution of this populations unusually stable social structure.

A scientific article presenting the results from this study, entitled Kin-directed food sharing promotes lifetime natal philopatry of both sexes in a population of fish-eating killer whales, Orcinus orca, is available free of charge from the journal Animal Behavior at the following link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347216000737

About the Speaker

Brianna Wright holds a BSc. in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Victoria and a MSc. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. She began her career in whale research as an undergraduate co-op student with Fisheries and Oceans Canadas marine mammal research group in 2007, transitioning to full-time work as a research technician for the same team in 2008. Her graduate thesis used Dtags (a suction-cup attached device that records dive depth, body position and underwater sound) to investigate the fine-scale foraging behavior of resident killer whales. In 2014, Brianna graduated from UBC and returned to the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, where she currently works as a marine mammal biologist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. In 2016, she published a paper with Eva Stredulinsky, Graeme Ellis and John Ford about prey sharing behavior by resident killer whales and its influence on the evolution of their unique social structure. This paper was awarded Fisheries and Oceans Canadas Paper of the Year award in 2016. Her recent research includes projects on resident killer whale population monitoring, feeding behavior and echolocation, as well as habitat modelling for large baleen whales to help reduce the impact of vessel strikes on these vulnerable populations.

About The Whale Trail

The Whale Trail (www.thewhaletrail.org) is a series of sites where the public may view orcas and other marine mammals from shore. Our mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment. Our overarching goal is to ensure the southern resident orcas recover from the threat of extinction.

Through our current sites and signs, including two on every Washington State ferry, we reach more than 50 million people each year. The Whale Trail is currently adding new sites along the west coast, from California to British Columbia, throughout the southern resident orcas’ range and beyond.

The Whale Trail is led by a core team of partners that include NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Seattle Aquarium, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and the Whale Museum. Our BC team is led by the BC Cetacean Sighting Network. Many members of The Whale Trail teams met when they worked together to return Springer, the orphaned orca, to her pod.

The Whale Trail is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, headquartered in West Seattle. Join us!

 


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Dec
4
Tue
Pesticides and Orcas: Making the Connection @ C & P Coffee Company
Dec 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

 

Pesticides and Orcas: Making the Connection

New evidence suggests that orcas are more sensitive to pesticides than we thought.

Lisa Hayward and Clement Furlong of the University of Washington Superfund Research Program (UW SRP) will present the story of a surprise discovery in genomics that suggests marine mammals may be much more vulnerable to organophosphates like chlorpyrifos than previously recognized.Their talk will cover evidence both of orcas’ vulnerability and also of their exposure in Puget Sound. Chlorpyrifos is a common pesticide recently in the news after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reversed a 2016 ban on it in a move later deemed illegal by a federal court. EPA appealed that decision in September and chlorpyrifos continues to be used widely on crops like wheat and apples.

About the speakers:

Lisa Hayward manages research translation for the UW SRP and has a background in endocrinology and science policy.

Clement Furlong is a principal investigator with the UW SRP and a world-renowned expert on the genetic and physiological basis of vulnerability to pesticides.

About The Whale Trail

The Whale Trail (www.thewhaletrail.org) is a series of sites to view orcas and other marine mammals from shore. Our mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment.

Through our current sites and signs, including two on every Washington State ferry, we reach more than 50 million people each year. The Whale Trail is currently adding new sites along the North American west coast, from California to British Columbia.

The Whale Trail is led by a core team of partners including NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Seattle Aquarium, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, the Whale Museum. Donna Sandstrom is the Founder and Executive Director. Many members of the team first met on the successful effort to return Springer, the orphaned orca, to her pod.

The Whale Trail is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, registered in Washington State. Join us!

 


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Apr
18
Thu
Recovering the Southern Resident Orcas: lessons learned from other populations @ C&P Coffee
Apr 18 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

 

With just 75 individuals in the population, the southern resident orcas are in danger of going extinct. Is it too late? What can we learn from recovering other marine mammal populations, that will help J, K and L pods?

Dr. Tim Ragen will review the status of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population and then review conservation efforts for other marine mammals to highlight lessons learned and relevant to killer whale conservation.

About the Speaker

Tim Ragen earned a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, California in 1990. His dissertation focused on field and modeling studies of the northern fur seal. After earning his degree he completed a National Research Council Associateship at the U.S. National Marine Mammal Laboratory, where he continued modeling studies of the northern fur seal.

In 1991 he joined the Honolulu Laboratory of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, where he worked in the Hawaiian monk seal recovery program. In 1997 he took a management position as the Steller sea lion recovery coordinator for the Alaska Region, National Marine Fisheries Service. There his work focused primarily on indirect interactions between the endangered Steller sea lion and the Alaska groundfish fisheries.

In 2000 he moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as Scientific Program Director for the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission. In 2006 he was appointed the Commissions Executive Director. He retired from that position in June 2013 and currently lives in Anacortes, WA.


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May
16
Thu
Celebrate Orca Legislation and Puget Sound Orca Update with Mark Sears @ C&P Coffee Company
May 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Last week Governor Jay Inslee signed five bills to protect southern resident orcas. The new laws will reduce vessel noise and disturbance, improve salmon habitat, reduce contaminants, provide protection from oil spills, and educate boaters.

The Canadian Government also announced new measures to protect orcas including establishing feeding sanctuaries for and setting a distance setback of 400 yards for all vessels. A good week for the whales!

Join us to celebrate a new era in orca protection, and hear an update about orca activity in Puget Sound from whale researcher Mark Sears.

Learn what’s next for orcas, the Task Force, and the Whale Trail. Help us keep the momentum going!

Come early and mingle. Doors open at 6:15. Hope to see you there!

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Jun
15
Sat
Orca Day at Cape Disappointment State Park @ Cape Disappointment State Park - Waikiki Beach Amphitheater
Jun 15 @ 1:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Join  The Whale Trail and Washington State Parks  for the first annual “Orca Day” to educate people about the Southern Resident Orca Whale population. The free, family-friendly event will take place June 15, at Cape Disappointment State Park, located on the Long Beach Peninsula. The day will include kids’ activities from 1-4 p.m., and an evening presentation at 7 p.m. at the park’s Waikiki Amphitheater, 244 Robert Gray Drive Ilwaco. (Driving directions.)

The evening program features John Calambokidis from Cascadia Research and The Whale Trail’s Donna Sandstrom. Port of Ilwaco  Commissioner Butch Smith will introduce the featured speakers.

The event is co-sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The afternoon activities and evening lecture will educate and inspire attendees with stories and facts about J, K and L pods along with an update on gray whales. Visitors to the interpretive Whale Trail can view many types of whales and marine mammals from shore. The trail spans from California to British Columbia, and Cape Disappointment State Park is one of 100 sites along the trail.

The southern resident orcas are endangered and could go extinct in as few as 100 years. Comprising just 76 individuals, the population is nearing its historical low of 71. Sandstrom, Smith and a representative from Washington State Parks serve on Gov. Inslee’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force. In November 2018, the task force recommended 36 actions to recover the southern residents.

Hope to see you there!

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The Whale Trail inspires appreciation and stewardship of orcas, other marine mammals and the marine environment by identifying a network of viewing sites along the whales’ trails through the Salish Sea and along the Pacific Coast. From 16 inaugural sites in Washington State, the trail now includes more than 100 sites from British Columbia to Southern California. The Whale Trail has its roots in a rare conservation success—the successful return of the orphaned orca, Springer. Our vision is a fully recovered Southern Resident orca population thriving in a healthy sea for generations to come. www.thewhaletrail.org
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commissionmanages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.  
Sep
19
Thu
Erich Hoyt, ORCA TOUR 2019 SEATTLE @ The Hall at Fauntleroy
Sep 19 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Join us for this rare Seattle appearance by internationally-renowned author and marine conservationist Erich Hoyt to celebrate the newly released 5th edition of his classic book, Orca the Whale Called Killer and to learn how his efforts to protect marine mammal habitats worldwide might support the conservation of orcas in the North Pacific, including the endangered southern resident orcas.

Orca: The Whale Called Killer charts Erich Hoyts adventures and conservation work which began with killer whales off the B.C. coast and was followed by two decades of orca research in Kamchatka, Russia.

As co-chair of the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force and policy lead for the Healthy Seas program of the U.K.-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Erich co-directs a 10-year project to map the habitats for 130 species of marine mammals across the world’s oceans. His book Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises has helped set the standard for marine biodiversity conservation work.

The talk will be followed by a book signing and Q&A. Erich’s books will be for sale at the event.

This is one of three stops on Orca Tour 2019. Other talks will be held in Friday Harbor 9/24 co-presented by the Whale Museum, and Saturna Island 9/28 co-presented by Saturn Island Marine Research and Education Society (SIMRES). Erich’s Seattle talk is sponsored by Sound Community Bank, Orca Running, and Dr. Pete Schroeder DVM.

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Don’t miss this!
Sep
24
Tue
Erich Hoyt, ORCA TOUR 2019 Friday Harbor @ Friday Harbor Yacht Club
Sep 24 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Join us for this rare northwest appearance by internationally-renowned author and marine conservationist Erich Hoyt to celebrate the newly released 5th edition of his classic book, Orca the Whale Called Killer and to learn how his efforts to protect marine mammal habitats worldwide might support the conservation of orcas in the North Pacific, including the endangered southern resident orcas.

Orca: The Whale Called Killer charts Erich Hoyts adventures and conservation work which began with killer whales off the B.C. coast and was followed by two decades of orca research in Kamchatka, Russia.

As co-chair of the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force and policy lead for the Healthy Seas program of the U.K.-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Erich co-directs a 10-year project to map the habitats for 130 species of marine mammals across the world’s oceans. His book Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises has helped set the standard for marine biodiversity conservation work.

The talk will be followed by a book signing and Q&A. Erich’s books will be for sale at the event.

See organizer the Whale Museum for tickets.

This is one of three stops on Orca Tour 2019 co-hosted by The Whale Trail. Other talks will be held in Seattle Harbor 9/19, and Saturna Island 9/28 co-presented by Saturn Island Marine Research and Education Society (SIMRES).
Don’t miss this!

Sep
28
Sat
Erich Hoyt, ORCA TOUR 2019 SATURNA @ Saturna Island Community Hall
Sep 28 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Join us for this rare northwest appearance by internationally-renowned author and marine conservationist Erich Hoyt to celebrate the newly released 5th edition of his classic book, Orca the Whale Called Killer and to learn how his efforts to protect marine mammal habitats worldwide might support the conservation of orcas in the North Pacific, including the endangered southern resident orcas.

Orca: The Whale Called Killer charts Erich Hoyts adventures and conservation work which began with killer whales off the B.C. coast and was followed by two decades of orca research in Kamchatka, Russia.

As co-chair of the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force and policy lead for the Healthy Seas program of the U.K.-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Erich co-directs a 10-year project to map the habitats for 130 species of marine mammals across the world’s oceans. His book Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises has helped set the standard for marine biodiversity conservation work.

The talk will be followed by a book signing and Q&A. Erich’s books will be for sale at the event.

See organizer SIMRES for tickets.

This is one of three stops on Orca Tour 2019 co-hosted by The Whale Trail. Other talks will be held in Seattle Harbor 9/19, and Saturna Island 9/28 co-presented by Saturn Island Marine Research and Education Society (SIMRES).
Don’t miss this!

Dec
10
Tue
Southern Resident Orca Research Update w/ Dr. Brad Hanson @ C&P Coffee Company
Dec 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Southern Resident Orca Research Update w/ Dr. Brad Hanson @ C&P Coffee Company | Seattle | Washington | United States

The southern resident orcas return to central Puget Sound each winter, following chum salmon runs. With the loss of three young adults this past year, the population consists of just 73 individuals. What research is currently underway and how will it help J, K and L pods? With the ending of the Governor’s Task Force, what are the next steps for their recovery?

Join us at the Whale Trail Winter Gathering to learn about current research and findings from Dr. Brad Hanson, NWFSC Lead Killer Whale Researcher, and field researchers Mark and Maya Sears. Whale Trail Director Donna Sandstrom will give an update about the end of the Task Force, and actions we can take now to help the southern residents.

Come early and get your holiday shopping done too! We’ll have great gifts for the whale fans on your list, including signed copies of Erich Hoyt’s newly released edition of Orca The Whale Called Killer.

Buy tickets now to reserve your seat.

About the Speaker

Brad Hanson joined the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in April of 2003. Previously, Brad worked as a Wildlife Biologist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, WA. Brad received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington where he worked on the development of improved tag attachment systems for small cetaceans. He also holds an M.S. in Fisheries from the University of Washington and a B.A. in Zoology also from the University of Washington. Brad is an ecologist and is currently studying foraging and habitat use of Southern Resident killer whales and health assessment of harbor and Dall’s porpoises.

About The Whale Trail

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