ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROFILE

PROTECTION STATUS: Endangered

YEAR PLACED ON LIST: 2005

CRITICAL HABITAT: 2,500 square miles of Puget Sound, Haro Strait, and Juan de Fuca Strait designated in 2006

RECOVERY PLAN: Draft 2007

RANGE: Puget Sound, Juan de Fuca Strait, Haro Strait, and Georgia Strait

THREATS: Toxic chemicals, declines in salmon, general ecosystem deterioration, growing whale-watching pressure, collisions with ships, oil spills, Navy sonar, and entanglement in fishing nets

POPULATION TREND: Southern resident killer whales have experienced alarming population instability during the past 30 years, indicating that the population is unsteady and oscillating toward extinction. Since 1996, the population has experienced a steep drop, going from 97 to 78 whales.

Photo courtesy Flickr/Miles Ritter