One Fish, Two Fish, Blackfish … Blackfish?
Examining the differences between the three ecotypes of killer whales in B.C.
Killer whales of the Northeast Pacific are not a single, homogenous group. In fact, three different ecotypes of killer whales exist in B.C. – residents, Bigg’s (transients) and offshores. While they look similar from a far, each group is genetically distinct. Not only do they not interbreed, but they are morphologically different, they behave differently, their calls are different and they have completely different hunting strategies – which are related to their specialized diets. Each ecotype is listed as either threatened or endangered, with certain threats – such as prey availability, toxins, underwater noise and vessel disturbance – having a greater impact on one ecotype compared to the others. Join Brittany Visona, Coordinator of the Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program and Research Assistant at the Coastal Ocean Research Institute’s Marine Mammal Research Program (an Ocean Wise initiative), to learn more about the three ecotypes of killer whales that call B.C.’s waters home, and how our knowledge of them has grown over the last 40 years.
Button event – no Admission. Buttons will be available for purchase