Southern resident orcas are an endangered species and they just recently got some more needed protection when the National Marine Fisheries Service expanded rules that offer an expansion to the whales’ critical habitat.
The critical habitat expands from Canada to the U.S. has been expanded by about 16,000 square miles. With the increase this brings the overall protected critical habitat to over 18,000 square miles.
The Southern Resident Orcas had been designated as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act several years ago and they are one of the most critically endangered marine mammals in the United States as well.
The critical habitat for the Southern Resident Orcas is a certain region that contains essential features that are necessary to conserve the orcas and they can often be found swimming along the coasts around the North Pacific. The Southern Resident Orcas are the smallest of the resident populations of killer whales.
It isn’t uncommon for tourists, Canadians, and other travelers, to see orcas off the West Coast of British Columbia. They have been spotted plenty of times and you can even book whale watching boating tours in a variety of places around the province.
The new protections for the Southern resident orcas comes from the U.S. government and the move is going to be able to add thousands of square miles of protected habitat from the border down to California around Point Sur.
We might see the Southern Resident Orcas go extinct over the next few decades if more isn’t done to try and help to protect them and their habitat. Not only are they listed as an endangered species in the United States but the Southern Resident Orcas have also been listed as such by Canada too.