Killer Whales Endangered

Killer Whales Endangered

Killer Whale Conservation

The Killer Whale has declined in overall numbers due to the environment and human actions. Right now they aren’t considered to be an endangered species, but that doesn’t mean effective conservation efforts aren’t necessary. This is especially true in certain habitat locations where the numbers are decreasing very rapidly. Research has shown some Killer Whales are threatened by the loss of their natural habitat as well as a reduction in food supply in some areas.

These animals consume tons of food daily, and that is a concern. In many areas they are consuming the same fish that fishermen want to make a living from. As the amount of food is reduced they may have to move further to find more of it. This is where they end up injured or killed due to fishing nets or boats in those areas. Some people hunt Killer Whales for sport too or to consume the meat from them. While not very many are killed anymore for such reasons, it is still an aspect that takes away from the number of them remaining.

It is believed that salmon is one of their main food sources. However, the amount of it has continued to drop over the past decade. Some Killer Whales have been able to adapt to other food sources in a given region. However, others haven’t been able to do so and the result is that they aren’t reproducing. Many of the younger members of the pods are also dying due to starvation.

Conservation efforts can be difficult when it comes to protecting the Killer Whales too. This is because we still don’t know where they spend a significant period of their time each year. Without that information we have no way of knowing what areas need to be protected and how to do so. Additional research is underway that will hopefully track the destinations and so those habitats can further be looked into.

It is known that some types of traumatic events can greatly alter the behaviors and reproduction of Killer Whales. In the 1990’s there was a huge oil spill from Exxon in areas of Alaska. A group of transient whales from that region was almost 400 at the time and now there are only 7 remaining. There has been no evidence to indicate this group has reproduced at all since the incident occurred.

Whaling in the 1980’s is believed to be partially to blame for the decline in the number of Killer Whales in the world. The majority of these events took place in Norway and the Soviet Union. Japan also played a huge role in this as well.

The fact that Killer Whales don’t live very long in captivity makes it difficult to use that a as a means of increasing their numbers. On average, they can live up to 50 years in the wild for males and 60 years for females. However, in captivity the average age is about 25 years. Since they don’t mate until they are 15 to 20 years of age and the fact that about ½ of the offspring die in the first year, there are conservation efforts in place to at least protect these whales in their natural environments so that they can hopefully slowly increase their numbers.

As a result they try not to put Killer Whales into captivity unless they would definitely otherwise die in their natural environment. This is common when they have been injured so captivity can at least give them a few more years and perhaps the chance to produce offspring. More is being done though to help extend the life of those Killer Whales that are in captivity.