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Above The Clouds - Honor Toki's Legacy By Protecting Southern Resident Orca


Beautiful. Majestic. Free. Killer whales have inspired us for thousands of years with their beauty and grace. Before her passing on August 18th, Tokitae emanated this strength, beauty, and grace and inspired many of us.

Her family, the southern residents - a population that frequently inhabits the Salish Sea and coastal waters of Washington State - are on the brink of extinction.

While there are other threats, one of the biggest contributors to their struggles is lack of food from major declines in Chinook salmon, their main food source. These declines are primarily caused by dams, such as those on the lower Snake River, that inhibit the spawning patterns of the salmon.

The southern residents are at their lowest numbers since the captures of the population for aquaria in the 1970s. Researchers have correlated these declines to the reduction in salmon available for them to eat. In 2018, one whale from this endangered population named Tahlequah (J35) made headlines after her calf died and she carried it for 16 days after its death.

As top predators, killer whales play a key role by indicating the health of their environment. They are trying to tell us something is wrong. Will we listen before it's too late?

It's time to breach the dams and protect the salmon and this treasured group of killer whales before they are gone.

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More resources:

- (latest updates on whale sightings and photos)



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