Killer whale biologists used a hexacopter drone last month to capture stunning, overhead photos of every single member of the endangered Puget Sound orca population.


Orca enthusiasts rejoiced when a newborn calf was spotted seven weeks ago. But as of this morning the endangered killer whale calf has not been seen.

L120 was the first calf born in the past two years. Over the weekend, the calf’s mother was spotted three times, without her baby. Orca experts believe the calf is dead, though no carcass has been found and it's unclear how it died.

Bryan Weyers / Wikimedia Commons

The Navy is pursuing permits to conduct exercises in a large area of the Pacific Ocean. The Northwest Training and Testing Range stretches from Northern California to the Canadian border.

Graeme Ellis / Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The fairy tale ending for a young orphan killer whale keeps getting better. Canadian marine biologists spotted "Springer" the whale with her first calf off the coast of central British Columbia last week. This comes 11 years after Springer was rescued from the ferry lanes near Seattle and successfully reunited with her whale family at the north end of Vancouver Island. Helena Symonds of OrcaLab was one of the whale activists who urged fisheries managers in both countries to intervene at the time.

Photo by Erik Stockdale / Wikimedia Commons

The waters of Puget Sound are a pretty noisy place, if you’re an orca. But what does a passing tanker ship or motorboat sound like to a killer whale? How does it affect their behavior? Ashley Ahearn reports researchers are trying to find out.

California farmers are challenging the federal government’s decision to list Puget Sound’s southern resident killer whale as an endangered species. These whales have been on the list since 2005. There are 86 left.

Cascadia Research

Scientists are still trying to pinpoint the cause of death for a young female orca that washed up near Long Beach, Washington in February.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report today with details from the whale’s necropsy.

Right now scientists still aren’t sure what caused the death of orca L112, also known as “Victoria”.

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Kalev Kevad / Wikimedia Commons

Officials have launched an investigation into the death of a young female orca from a pod of the endangered marine mammals in Puget Sound. The orca washed up near Washington’s Long Beach in February. The cause of her death is controversial.

Photo by Wikimedia User Pittman / Wikimedia Commons

LONG BEACH, Wash. -- The bruised and bloody carcass of an endangered killer whale washed ashore at Long Beach, Washington this weekend. An initial necropsy did not pinpoint a cause of death. Correspondent Tom Banse has more on an emerging whodunit.

Photo by Richard Dudley / Flickr

This week, federal biologists will cast off on a research cruise from NOAA's new home port in Newport, Oregon. They hope to crack an enduring mystery about some of the most studied killer whales on earth. Namely, where do the Northwest's resident orca whales go in the winter? Correspondent Tom Banse has more.