Event Title

Phocoenacide – The Killing of Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocena) by Fish Eating Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca).

Presentation Abstract

Southern Resident fish-eating killer whales have been observed "mugging" and killing harbor porpoise without subsequent predation on the animal carcass. While occasional porpoise killings by L-pod and K-pod members had been documented by staff of the Center for Whale Research since regular monitoring started in 1976, prior to 2005, J-pod was never seen engaging in this “mugging” behavior. However, in 2005, multiple different members of J-pod were documented killing harbor porpoises on four separate occasions during the month of July. Since 2005, several different research groups have recorded additional mugging episodes by members of all three Southern Resident Killer Whale pods. Pooling long-term datasets from myriad research groups allows for robust analysis of this novel behavior with the aim of understanding why this behavior is occurring as well as possible implications for the local harbor porpoise population.

Session Title

General species and food webs

Conference Track

Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Comments

This research is a collaborative project with researchers from the Center for Whale Research, The Whale Museum, The SeaDoc Society, Cascadia Research Collective, NOAA - Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Phocoenacide – The Killing of Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocena) by Fish Eating Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca).

2016SSEC

Southern Resident fish-eating killer whales have been observed "mugging" and killing harbor porpoise without subsequent predation on the animal carcass. While occasional porpoise killings by L-pod and K-pod members had been documented by staff of the Center for Whale Research since regular monitoring started in 1976, prior to 2005, J-pod was never seen engaging in this “mugging” behavior. However, in 2005, multiple different members of J-pod were documented killing harbor porpoises on four separate occasions during the month of July. Since 2005, several different research groups have recorded additional mugging episodes by members of all three Southern Resident Killer Whale pods. Pooling long-term datasets from myriad research groups allows for robust analysis of this novel behavior with the aim of understanding why this behavior is occurring as well as possible implications for the local harbor porpoise population.