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Legal / Regulatory

August 06, 2020 - CBS News

Endangered orcas at risk from U.S. Navy, activists warn

Endangered orcas at risk from U.S. Navy, activists warn
Two orcas in ocean© Photabulous!

In the Pacific Northwest, an endangered community of killer whales has been on the decline for years due to a variety of factors, all related to human activity. Now, advocacy groups are warning of another looming threat which could further weaken the killer whale population: the U.S. Navy.

The Southern Resident killer whales are a small, close knit community of animals — more accurately known as orcas, the largest species of dolphins — which live primarily along the coast of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

When they were listed as endangered in 2005, there were 88 Southern Resident orcas — but now, due to declines in their favorite food, Chinook salmon, as well as other manmade threats like toxins, shipping traffic and warming waters due to climate change, their numbers have dwindled to 72.

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