Orcas : Killer Whales
Two cities in United States’ state of Washington have taken steps to formally declare their support for legal rights for a group of endangered orcas. City of Port Townsend and City of Gig Harbor in the Pacific Northwest have signed proclamations to secure the inherent rights of the Southern Resident Orcas.
- Orcas are found across the world and are also known as “killer whales”.
- It is the largest member of the Delphinidae family, or dolphins.
- Members of this family include all dolphin species, as well as other larger species, such as long-finned pilot whales and short-finned pilot whales, whose common names also contain “whale” instead of “dolphin”.
- Killer whales are highly social, and most live in social groups called pods (groups of maternally related individuals seen together more than half the time).
- Killer whales rely on underwater sound to feed, communicate, and navigate.
- Southern Resident killer whales are the only endangered population of killer whales in the United States.
- Despite federal legal protections for nearly two decades, the population of the orcas continues to decline and is critically endangered.