What Makes an Animal Endangered?
The answer to the question, are killer whales listed as endangered species is no. Killer whales are not endangered yet. They are considered to be an endangered species because they are suffering from overfishing. There is so much information and so many facts on whales that have been discovered since the beginning of whale watching in the early 1900s. Even today, there are still thousands of whale skeletons and whale teeth scattered throughout various parts of the world. As such, it is hard for conservationists and zoologists to determine which whales are currently in decline, or whether they are just too old to breed.
One reason why whales are being viewed as vulnerable is because they are very difficult to find and photograph. Killer whales are a very elusive marine mammal, with the exception of the Southern Right Whales. The orca or the killer whale is a prominent toothed whales belonging to the sub-marine dolphin family, which it most certainly is the largest member. It is easily recognizable by its black and white appearance. Its dorsal fin stands erect, while its two lateral fins are backward pointing.
In accordance to International Whaling Commission regulations, the South Pacific Whale Scientific Study Centre is now listing the whales according to their scientific certificates. The most recent certificates are accredited by the Fund for Animal Welfare, which accredits both the Center and the scientific study conducted at the center. Another option is accredited by the Conservation of Hawaiian Islands. These certifications provide evidence that the whales are not endangered, yet the populations are protected in accordance with conservation law in Hawaii. This means that these populations are monitored and conservation measures are being taken to ensure the survival of the southern resident population.
There are different reasons why there are killer whales in the open seas around Australia. Some of them are already known as Endangered and are considered as the lowest risk. However, some others are still in their early stages, which can pose threats to their continued existence in the oceans. There are several factors that contribute to the decreases in whale populations in certain areas in the oceans: the depletion of certain nutrients; disturbance of their mating and breeding cycles; introduction of harmful chemicals into the waters; and collisions with ships.
Killer whales and their close relatives, the blue whales, have a very unique habitat. They feed on smaller to medium-sized fish in the coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean, which include barracuda, pilot whales and common wader snapper. Although they are nocturnal by day, they mostly feed during the night after eating their food. Killer whales and their close cousin the blue whale are preyed upon by whales, dolphins, porpoises and other marine mammals like sharks, scavenging for their meat. The whales’ offspring, the calves, are taken away from the mother’s pouch and taken away to a separate nursery, where mothers prepare their young by nursing them until they can take their own food.
Aside from this, Killer whales are also threatened by human activities in the area. The commercial whaling industry has a profound impact on their population numbers. The International Whaling Commission or IWC is the governing body that controls the whaling activities in the seas. They are required to submit annual reports to the IWC based on the precautionary management program for the Southern Residents and other islands in the region. These reports indicate how the whales are being dealt with in captivity and on how they are being killed.