Friday May 13, 2022
Episode 2 – Two Distinct Populations of Killer Whales in the Salish Sea
Joining us as our guest this week is Monika Wieland Shields, co-founder and director of Orca Behavior Institute. In addition to talking with Monika about OBI's field research, we spoke about the two different ecotypes of killer whales we see in the waters around the San Juan Islands, the endangered fish-eating Southern Residents and the thriving marine mammal eating Bigg’s (formerly known as Transients). We discussed the changing trends in sightings of each population in the area and what is driving these changes.
Monika also shared some information about OBI’s new study about killer whales and vessels in the Salish Sea, offering a new perspective on factors influencing incident rates.
As we do on each episode we got into recent whale sightings around the San Juan Islands, including the fascinating, ongoing saga of young Bigg’s killer whale T34A1 switching families.
Our next episode will drop on May 30th. If you would like to submit feedback or questions to us we might read a few submissions on the next episode. Email us at email@example.com or message us on Instagram.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Orca Behavior Institute
- Souhaut, Marie, and Monika W. Shields. 2021. “Stereotyped whistles in Southern Resident killer whales.” PeerJ 9:e12085
- Killer whales and vessels in the Salish Sea: A new perspective on factors influencing incident rates
Photos mentioned in this episode:
Average days per month SRKWs and Bigg's killer whales are in the Salish Sea. Data compiled by the Orca Behavior Institute.
T34A1 last sighting with family, August 22, 2021. Photo by Sara Hysong Shimazu, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching.
T34A1 with T36 and T36Bs, September 2021. Photo by Sara Hysong Shimazu, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching.
SRKW J41 as a calf 2005. Photo by Monika Wieland Shields.
SRKW J53 as a calf 2015. Photo by Jeff Friedman, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching.
New SRKW calf J59, 2022. Photo by Sara Hysong Shimazu, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching.
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