Sunday, 12 August 2012

But we don't even have orca in the UK...

by Sam Lipman 

Yes we do.

In fact, it always surprises me when I come across someone who doesn't realise we have any cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) around our UK coastline. We have over 25 species!

And they are readily accessible - even orca! In fact, they have made such an appearance over the last couple of months that they've made it into national news. The BBC have published articles about them and there's a Daily Mail piece reporting the sighting of fourteen orca in the harbour at John O'Groats in Scotland in July (that's less than a month ago!).

We even have a small 'resident' pod living in waters off the West Coast of Scotland dubbed the West Coast Community. The entire West Coast Community is comprised of less than ten individuals.

Orca Aware has been launched in order to make you aware that we do have killer whales around the UK coastline and in most of our world's seas and oceans. Why is this important? Because it shows us just how close to home this amazing species is - where you are!

We should care about orca, we should learn about them and we should help address the conservation threats that they face.

The IUCN Red List entry for orca illustrates just how wide-ranging this species is and it is a great place to begin when looking for answers. You can also visit our Orca of the World blog for profiles of many of the world's known orca populations and the researchers who are studying them.

Over the coming weeks and months, follow Orca Aware to learn more about orca, the different populations and orca cultures found around the world, their physiology, behaviour and intelligence, different problems that they each face, how we study them and how you yourself can get involved with working with wild orca.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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