Killer whales in British Columbia’s waters could be extinct in as little as a century, wildlife experts have warned.
Only 87 resident killer whales now live off the Canadian province, after a 20 per cent decline between 1993 and 2003, and to protect the remaining few eight environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the government, alleging that it has failed to protect the whales’ habitat.
These groups say the Orcas’ population is declining due to threats to their habitat, including a sharp fall in salmon stocks, increased boat traffic, toxic contamination, dredging, and military sonar testing.
Dr Lance Barrett-Lennard, an international expert on killer whales, explained to the Edmonton Journal the severity of the situation.
He said: “For most species a population reduced to 87 … would be toast. We wouldn’t even be considering recovery as a viable possibility.”
The Orca is the largest species of the oceanic dolphin family and is found in all the world’s oceans, some populations feed on fish while others hunt marine mammals, including sea lions and seals.
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