Southern Resident Killer Whales – Top Predators in need of a Restored Ecosystem

Year: 2020
Presenter/s: Kenneth Balcomb
Symposium Session: 2020 - 00 Invited Speaker
Topics covered: _other, adaptive management and monitoring, estuary, lessons learned, and tidal


Killer whales have been known since antiquity as voracious marine predators in all oceans, and they have played an iconic role in the mythology of indigenous coastal communities in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Only in the recent 50 years have scientists been able to really “know” killer whales as a result of individual recognition techniques (photo-identification), molecular genetic techniques, and innovative studies involving drones, fecal sampling, and acoustic research. The speaker will provide a brief history of the development of these techniques so that participants may appreciate and distinguish knowledge gained by scientific methods in contrast mythologies in past and present human societies.