Dall's Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli)

These black and white porpoise often are mistaken for baby killer whales. However, their dorsal fins are triangle shaped and the coloration patterns such as eye patch and saddle patches do not exist. These porpoise can be found in the North Pacific, are common from the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska and as far south as Baja California. They are found in coastal and pelagic waters and prefer cold temperatures. Adults average six feet in length and a maximum of 490 pounds. Dall’s porpoise have been observed feeding on a variety of fish including mackerel, capelin, hake and even squid. The maximum feeding depth has been estimated at 1600 feet and they require large amounts of food at frequent intervals due to their high metabolic rate. Sexually mature at 3-4 years of age and little is known about their breeding behavior. Observations have been made indicating there are two calving periods, one taking place in February and March, and the other in July and August. Life span of 20 years. The gestation is approximately 11 ½ months and mothers nurse their calves for 2-4 months. Dall's porpoise typically are seen in groups of 2-20 individuals and they are very fast swimmers, with observations of speeds up to 35 mph and often are identified by their "rooster tail splash". They are common bow riders and are rarely acrobatic.

Current threats include incidental catch/bycatch in fishing gear; pollutants and various contaminants in the marine environment, which have been found in this species' blubber.  These contaminants could present a major toxicity problem, especially to reproduction, as they accumulate and pass through the marine food web.

To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, please call: 1-866-767-6114 
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