Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Welcome to the Center for Whale Research's new blog. We are just getting started so please check back again.

About the Center for Whale Research:
In 1976, "Orca Survey" was launched as a census to determine the status of the Southern Resident Killer Whales. Orca Survey is a long-term photo-identification study of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the San Juan Island area of the Pacific Northwest. It was initiated by Principal Investigator Ken Balcomb in 1976 (under contract to the National Marine Fisheries Service) to ascertain the size of the population of Killer whales in the Greater Puget Sound environs of Washington State. For over three decades, the Center for Whale Research (CWR) has been conducting annual photo-identification studies of the Southern Resident Killer whale (SRKW) population that frequent the inland waters of Washington State and lower British Columbia.These studies have provided unprecedented baseline information on population dynamics and demography, social structure, and individual life histories.

This detailed understanding of population status and trends has supported management decisions in both Canada and the United States. Most recently, data derived from CWR’s long-term studies have been used to support listing decisions in the U.S. under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act, and in Canada under the Species At Risk Act, with SRKWs now listed as Endangered in both countries.CWR researchers have pioneered the development of innovative research techniques for the study of free-ranging cetaceans.

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Candace Calloway Whiting