Tuesday, 12 February 2013

hey everyone! :)

hi :0 (like the frog face?) the next few days posts will all about the mammals in the worlds waters and populations, how humans affect these populations and what we can do! I'll only focus on one animal per day so i can give all you guys lots of information and my challenge is for you to go and share one fact you learn with a friend, family memeber, your cat, anyone/thing.
Item 1: Killer Whale (Orca)
(Orcinus orca)
killer whale spyhopping
Orca are distrubeted all around the world are are commonly sighted in the waters of New Zeland, Pantagonia, Southern Argentina, along the pack ice of Antarctica, Brittish Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Canada, Iceland, Norwegian waters, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk on the russian coast, Prince William Sound and Alaska.
"Transient Killer Whales occur throughout the eastern North Pacific, and have primarily been studied in coastal waters. Their geographic range overlaps that of the resident and offshore killer whales. The dorsal fin of transient whales tends to be straighter at the tip than those of resident and offshore whales. Saddle patch pigmentation of transient killer whales is restricted to two patterns, and the large areas of black color don't mix into the white of the saddle patch that is seen in resident and offshore types. Transient type whales are often found in long-term stable social units of less than 10 whales, smaller than resident social groups. Transient killer whales feed nearly exclusively on other marine mammals.
Offshore Killer Whales are similar to resident whales, but can be distinguished generally by features such as their:
  • rounded fins with multiple nicks on the edge
  • smaller overall size
  • tendency for males and females to be more similar in size."
  • The diets of the aniamls living in different parts of the world differs, in some amazing ways.
    The list below is from the same website as above.
  • In the eastern North Pacific, the "resident" killer whale populations mainly feed on salmonids, such as Chinook salmon and chum salmon
  • "Transient" populations in the eastern North Pacific feed on marine mammals, such as (in order of frequency of observation)
  • harbor seals
  • Dall's porpoises
  • harbor porpoise
  • California sea lions
  • gray whale calves
  • Steller sea lions
  • elephant seals
  • minke whales
  • various other species of pinnipeds and cetaceans

  • Off the coast of Norway, some killer whales feed mainly, often in a coordinated manner, on
  • herring
  • other schooling fish

  • In waters off New Zealand, some killer whales feed on
  • stingrays
  • sharks  

  • In Antarctic waters, there are different types of killer whales. They have each been observed feeding off of various species:
    • type 'A' killer whales feed on minke whales
    • type 'B' killer whales feed on seals within the seasonal ice pack
    • type 'C' killer whales feed on Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) and other fish species

  • killer whales 
    killer whales are assessed conversationaly by the IUCN as Data Defficient. the world wide population is uncertain but it is estimated to be 50,000. Local estimates include roughly 25,000 in the Antarctic, 8,500 in the tropical Pacific, 2,250–2,700 off the cooler northeast Pacific and 500–1,500 off. NorwayJapan's Fisheries Agency estimated 2,321 killer whales were in the seas around Japan.
     This seal had a lucky escape when it was hunted by a killer whale in 2009.
    amazingly killer whales in New Zealand snack regulary on Sting Rays.
    You know, the things with the poisonous barb!
    Below is pretty much my favourite documentry ever, "The Woman Who Swims With Killer Whales." with Ingrid Visser, the lady who discovered this amazing fact after years of research.
    What can you do to help killer whales?
    * Killer whales, but every marine mammal really, is at a risk from boat traffic. Make sure when your on the water, especially in a boats, you are careful whenre you go and go slow enough. make sure you check for radio messgae about whale in the your area and that you alert others.
    * "Studies have shown that orcas off the coast of British Columbia in Canada are among the most contaminated creatures on the planet, with up to 250 times the safe levels of POPs in their systems as humans do.
    The concentration of pollutants in their blubber is so high their bodies can be considered as toxic waste when they die. In both Canada and Australia materials contaminated with more than 50 parts per million (ppm) of PCBs have to be treated and stored under special conditions, but the bodies of some killer whales have been found with 250ppm of PCBs in their blubber."
    this one is like so many environmental problems todays, there irriversable. we need to reduce rubbish and chemicals in the environment but that wont help these animals.
    I found these great points on this site.
    • Determine the distribution and monitor abundance of Killer Whales in Australian waters to assess the possible impact of threats, particularly the effect of direct and indirect fishing activities. This should be done via a sighting program to monitor numbers, particularly in southern waters. Pooling of existing sightings and strandings data to locate possible concentration areas should be considered.
    • Obtain information on Killer Whale diet to determine their trophic level and assess any possible impact of the fishing industry on Odontocete food resources, especially for species such as tuna.
    • Obtain basic biological information (including diet and pollutant levels) from incidentally-caught and stranded Killer Whale specimens. Ensure specimens are made available to appropriate scientific museums to enable collection of life history data and tissue samples for genetic analysis.
    Nadine :D

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