Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Beautiful. Majestic. Free. Killer whales have inspired us for thousands of years with their beauty and grace. However, 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 remove or breach the dams and prevent the salmon and this treasured group of killer whales before they are gone.
If you want to spread the message, please share this video!
For more information about the southern residents, the decline in salmon, how dams cause this problem, and what YOU can do to take action, you can check out these links:
https://www.whaleresearch.com/encounters (latest updates on whale sightings and photos)
Center for Whale Research
IlluminaPhotographic, licensed via adobestock.com
Clips licensed through VideoBlocks
The following images were used under the Creative Commons Attribution License (license information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/):
Pacific Southwest Region USFWS (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/24169854784/)
Dan Hershman (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hershman/497293505)
BLMIdaho (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blmidaho/28130630204/)
US Army Corp of Engineers (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Granite_Dam#/media/File:LwrGrDam1.jpg)
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Footage behind end credits:
Owned by Rising Sun Productions. Filmed at Lime Kiln Lighthouse, San Juan Island, WA, USA in 2015.
Moving Emotional Piano Hero Track by Daniel Bordovsky, licensed through AudioBlocks
No profit is received through the release of this video. This film is for educational purposes only and all rights of any content not owned by Rising Sun Productions remains with its owners. Rising Sun Productions is not an official business.
Special thanks to everyone who contributed their thoughts, perspective, or fact-checking to help with this video!