Southern Resident Killer Whale ESA Recovery Plan Implementation - Strandings

Killer whale strandings are relatively rare in the northeastern Pacific and normally involve single animals. Strandings generate intense scientific and public interest. Successful responses to strandings must address both interests in a timely and consistent manner. Improved reporting of stranded whales by educating the public and other monitoring efforts are crucial to enabling response. Any marine mammal stranding occurring from central California to northern British Columbia could involve Southern Residents and should be responded to in a way that ensures that a rare opportunity to obtain samples and measurements is not lost. Samples and measurements obtained during killer whale strandings increase knowledge of orca physiology.

Marine mammal stranding investigations in Washington and Oregon are conducted by the Northwest Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which includes resource agencies, local officials, veterinarians, biologists, and volunteer individuals and organizations. Strandings in British Columbia are handled through the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center and Fisheries & Oceans Canada. Stranded marine mammals provide information on ocean health and give clues to the threats that marine mammals face. The recovery plan (1.7MB) addresses killer whale strandings:

4. Respond to killer whales that are stranded, sick, injured, isolated, pose a threat to the public, or exhibit nuisance behaviors.

West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network

B.C. Marine Mammal Incident Reporting

4.1 Manage atypical individual Southern Residents.

4.2 Respond to strandings of killer whales.

L112 Stranding Final Report, October 2016

L95 Final Necropsy Report, September 2016

L95 Expert Panel Report, September 2016 

J32 Final Necropsy Report, September 2016

J32 (fetus) Final Necropsy Report, September 2016

J32 Stranding Progress Report, December 16, 2014

Killer whale necropsy protocols, 2014

J-Pod Calf Stranding, February 2013

L112 Stranding Progress Report 2, May 2012

L112 Stranding Progress Report 1, April 2012

4.3 Respond to future resource conflicts between the Southern Residents and humans.