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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Wednesday, January 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: orcas


Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

Over the years, scientists have identified dams, pollution and vessel noise as causes of the troubling decline of the Pacific Northwest’s resident killer whales. Now, they may have found a …


State Sens. Mark Schoesler, Shelly Short offer GOP perspective for upcoming legislative session

The two Eastern Washington Republicans pushed back on Gov. Jay Inslee’s requests for more spending and offered their insight into issues affecting Spokane, including homelessness, in a wide-ranging interview earlier …


UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 19, 2018, 10:22 a.m.

Washington governor proposes major steps for orca recovery

With the Northwest’s beloved killer whales on the brink of extinction, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has announced dramatic plans to help them, including $1.1 billion in spending and a partial …


Groups: U.S. must consider how salmon fishing hurts orcas

The federal government is violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to consider how salmon fishing off the West Coast is affecting endangered killer whales, two conservation groups said Tuesday …


UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 14, 2018, 7:48 a.m.

Inslee task force would study possible dam breaching to help salmon, orcas

A task force to study possible removal of the Snake River dams could generate outsized controversy in Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget.


Fraser River chinook critical to orcas are in steep decline, new research shows

Fraser River chinook, one of the most important food sources for southern resident killer whales, are in steep decline and should be listed for protection as an endangered species, a …


UPDATED: Sun., Nov. 25, 2018, 9:50 p.m.

For endangered orcas, it’s the hunger games

For the past few years, Idaho’s Snake River salmon and Puget Sound orcas have become linked in the decadeslong battle over the fate of the four lower Snake River Dams …


UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 7, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

Group calls for moratorium on boat tours of endangered orcas

A Washington state task force on critically endangered Northwest orcas wants to temporarily suspend whale-watching boat tours focused on those whales, one of three dozen recommendations to save a population …


UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 18, 2018, 9:35 p.m.

Breaching dams to benefit endangered orcas is contentious issue

Calls to breach four hydroelectric dams in Washington state have grown louder in recent months as the plight of critically endangered Northwest orcas has captured global attention.


Another orca sick, others pregnant

Another orca is sick and several others are pregnant in the critically endangered family of southern resident killer whales in the Pacific Northwest.


Controversy heats up over removal of Lower Snake River dams as orcas suffer losses

Orca champions have joined forces with dam busters, bringing new energy to an old fight to take down the Lower Snake River dams.


UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 17, 2018, 7:21 p.m.

ffAngry at plight of southern-resident orcas, speakers rebuke NOAA in public meetings

Attendees criticized NOAA for coordinating the now-canceled rescue effort of the orca J50 with SeaWorld, the entertainment park that had for decades profited from capturing the animals for use in …


Concern over endangered orcas blows up approval of Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada

Concern for critically endangered southern resident killer whales has sunk the approval of Canada’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.


All connected: a mother’s grief, starving orcas, dams, PCBs and Spokane

A grieving orca mother pushing her dead child. Her pod mate slowly starving. Spokane-area activists and environmentalists say the drama highlights the political and biological connections between the Columbia River …


Mother orca’s grief over dead calf resonates around the world

Is it her grief … or ours? As she carried her dead calf for the ninth straight day, Tahlequah the mother orca whale has captured the world’s attention.


UPDATED: Wed., July 25, 2018, 6:14 p.m.

New endangered Puget Sound orca dies soon after birth

The first calf born in three years to the endangered orcas that spend time in Pacific Northwest waters died Tuesday, the latest troubling sign for a population already at its …


Analysis finds endangered orcas eat range of Chinook salmon

A new analysis shows the endangered orcas that spend time in Washington state waters depend on Chinook salmon from a wide range of rivers in Puget Sound as well as …


Spin Control: Almost everything gets a special spot on the calendar. How about orcas?

Proposal to declare a National Orca Protection Month may be a whale of an idea, but fans of the marine mammals shouldn’t get their hopes up.


Group threatens lawsuit over habitat protection for orcas

A conservation group wants the federal government to move forward with protecting offshore areas along the U.S. West Coast to help endangered killer whales.


UPDATED: Wed., March 14, 2018, 3:51 p.m.

Washington governor to roll out measures to protect orcas

With the number of endangered Puget Sound orcas at a 30-year low, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday signed an executive order directing state agencies to take immediate and longer-term …


UPDATED: Sat., Feb. 3, 2018, 7:59 p.m.

State bills tackle threats to endangered Puget Sound orcas

With the number of endangered Puget Sound orcas at a 30-year low, state lawmakers want to protect the fish-eating killer whales that spend time in the inland waters of the …


UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 25, 2017, 8:01 p.m.

Study: Distance restrictions on Puget Sound orcas haven’t hurt tourism

A study by a federal agency has found that restrictions limiting boats from getting too close to endangered southern resident killer whales have not harmed the whale-watching industry.


UPDATED: Sun., Sept. 3, 2017, 11:16 a.m.

Ships slowing in busy channel to protect endangered orcas

SEATTLE – Ships moving through a busy channel off Washington state’s San Juan Island are slowing down this summer as part of a study to determine whether that can reduce …


Study: Orcas’ failed pregnancies linked to scarce food

Improving salmon runs could help the endangered killer whales that frequent the inland waters of Washington, according to a new study that found the orcas cannot find enough fish to …


UPDATED: Mon., June 12, 2017, 2:20 p.m.

Trump administration halts new protection for endangered West Coast whales

The Trump administration has thrown out a new rule meant to keep endangered whales and sea turtles from getting tangled in mile-long West Coast fishing nets.


Reinventing SeaWorld: Post ‘Blackfish,’ the park opens new Orca Encounter

SAN DIEGO – A symphonic score filled the former Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld, the tempo building suspense as footage of an icy landscape in Antarctica moved across a 140-foot-wide screen. …


Biologist: Orca attacks on gray whales up in California bay

Killer whales are on an unprecedented killing spree in California’s Monterey Bay, attacking and feeding on gray whale calves, a marine biologist said.


Tribes sue Coast Guard over tanker traffic’s risk to orcas

The Tulalip and Suquamish tribes are suing the Coast Guard, alleging a failure to protect endangered orcas from the risk of oil spills associated with tanker traffic in the Strait …


UPDATED: Wed., April 26, 2017, 10:16 p.m.

Tribes sue Coast Guard over tanker traffic’s risk to orcas

The Tulalip and Suquamish tribes are suing the Coast Guard, alleging a failure to protect endangered orcas from the risk of oil spills associated with tanker traffic in the Strait …


Bad breath: Study finds array of bacteria when orcas exhale

The findings in a new study raises concerns about the potential role of infectious diseases as another major stress factor for the struggling population of endangered Puget Sound orcas.