How to Save Rare Killer Whales From Extinction


This week's investigative reporting, analysis and environmental news.
The Revelator

No. 49, Oct. 11, 2018

Hello Revelator readers,

This summer the world was transfixed as a grieving killer whale named Tahlequah carried her dead calf for an agonizing 17 days. Tahlequah is now one of just 74 remaining Southern Resident killer whales, a geographically and genetically isolated group of orca that are slowly dying off due to lack of food and an abundance of deadly toxins. What will it take to save these rare whales from extinction? As Orca Network cofounder Howard Garrett writes for us this week, the best solution — removing the Snake River dams — faces more than a few political barriers.

In other news, you probably heard about this week's report on climate change from IPCC — the usually conservative scientific panel on climate change convened by the United Nations — urging the world to transition off of fossil fuels as quickly as possible. What would happen if we don't? For one thing, some parts of the world will get much wetter, while others will get much drier. Find out how your community could be affected by changing precipitation levels with our latest interactive climate map.

And while you're at it, don't miss the other maps in this series, covering projected changes in temperature and air pollution.

Finally this week, let's talk about wildlife trafficking. We have an interview with journalist Rachel Love Nuwer, the author of one of the must-read books of the season, Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking. As she tells us, "Once the animals are gone, we can't get them back."

In case you missed it:

This was a pretty bleak week, so let's not forget that there are also ongoing conservation success stories like the puppets helping to save California condors.

Send us your tips:

What stories should we cover? We welcome your ideas and inside scoops. Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We've got a lot of great stories and essays in the works for you, including important coverage of the upcoming midterm election, tips for acting on climate change, a look at India's last lions (yes, India has lions), and a whole lot more. Look for all of our newest links in next week's newsletter, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest headlines as they go live. And while you're on social media, we hope you'll share our stories with your friends.

That's it for this week. As always, thanks for reading.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator

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