Killer Whale Study Site



The two populations are located around Vancouver Island off the northwest seaboard of the USA and Canada.

Around Vancouver Island


The Southern Resident population studied by Ken Balcombe and his team consists of around 90 individuals who range around the San Juan Islands and the southern coast of Vancouver Island (see Figure). The Northern Resident population studied by John Ford and his team consists of 290 individuals who range around the northern tip of Vancouver Island.



In the two resident killer whale populations demographic and social data have been collected on more than 600 individuals, >85% of individuals have been documented since birth and >300 deaths recorded. Individuals are identified by their unique fin shapes, saddle patches and the presence of nicks or scratches, and sexed using the distinctive pigmentation patterns around the genital slits.