The Current Status of the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW)
The population of Killer whales (Orcinus orca) native to Puget Sound, also known as the Southern Resident population, are on the brink of extinction. These majestic creatures have a long history in the Salish Sea area and are an important cultural icon for the Pacific Northwest, but human activities over the last few decades are threatening their future. Though this population was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2005, little has been done since to tackle the causes of their decline. The challenges facing the SRKW population are many, but they can be generally placed into three groups: water pollution, noise pollution, and prey decline.