NOAA scientists Kim Parsons & Tom Jefferson on orca species, orca survival, orca scat, really old whales, the return of harbour porpoises, the fight for vaquitas and so much more in the second part of a special two-part episode on the two soon-to-be official species of orcas who call the Salish Sea home.


2:29 The challenge of naming new animals… scientific names, the names we use and the politics of naming. Yes, we’re sticking with Residents & Bigg’s.

5:15 How many orca species are there? The challenges of collecting data.

7:01 The genetic challenges facing the southern resident orcas.

10:09 Not enough J-pod baby-daddies.

12:32 “I think we need some optimism here…” a happy story about harbour porpoises. “There may be hope for this species after all. We know what the problems are… if we can make enough compromises in our own behaviour to reduce those threats, I think there’s good reason for being optimistic that the future of southern resident killer whales can still look quite bright.”

14:50 Biological and chronological ages.

19:30 The latest on the vanishing vaquitas – the most endangered marine mammal in the world. Are there only 10 left? “As long as there’s one male and one female left in the population there’s a chance for them to survive.”

23:20 Talking poop about orcas. And orca poop. “I spent a lot of time working with killer whale poop… I’ve collected a lot of poop in my time.”

24:55 Is there another orca species in Alaska? Probably! How many species are there? “We may be looking at six or maybe eight species… maybe more.”

26:58 Improvements in understanding orca health and their environments.

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about environments, oceans, and orcas.
Kim Parsons from NOAA.
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