Release Date:01 Apr 1999


Mammal-Hunting Killer Whales of B.C., Washington State, and Southeast Alaska

UBC Press

Killer Whales are found in all oceans of the world, but nowhere arethey better known than in the coastal waters of British Columbia,Washington, and southeastern Alaska. Twenty-five years of study in thisregion have yielded many surprising discoveries about the naturalhistory of this species. One of the most remarkable is that twogenetically distinct forms of killer whales reside in these waters.These whales do not associate and each leads a completely differentlifestyle: residents specialize on a diet of salmon and other fishes,while transients are hunter of seals, sea lions, porpoises, and evenlarge whales.

This book focuses on transient killer whales. Enigmatic and elusive,these mammal-hunting whales are difficult animals to study. They travelin small groups, often moving unpredictably, which makes them lessconspicuous than the larger resident pods. For these and other reasons,our understanding of the life history and ecology of transient killerwhales has lagged behind that of residents.

Transients contains the latest information on the naturalhistory of transient killer whales, including their feeding habits,social lives, and distribution patterns. The catalogue section containsphotographs of and notes on over 200 individual whales. Numeroussidebars contain interesting observations on encounters with transientsas well as information on how and where to best watch them.

A major contribution has been made to understand the magical world of B.C.'s killer whales with the release of this book ... offers a scholarly yet readable account of their behaviour and habits. The book captures their distinct way of life. Charlie Anderson, The Province
Beautifully illustrated, this book contains the latest information on the natural history of transient killer whales and how and where to watch them. University Press Books Selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries (2000)
John K.B. Ford is former head of marine mammalresearch at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and an adjunctprofessor in the Department of Zoology and the Marine Mammal ResearchUnit at the University of British Columbia. He is currently marinemammal biologist at the Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, B.C.Graeme M. Ellis is a marine mammal technician at thePacific Biological Station, Department of Fisheries and Oceans,Nanaimo, B.C. Both authors, along with Kenneth C. Balcomb, wroteKiller Whales, published in 1995 by UBC Press.

Preface and Acknowledgments

Natural History of Transient Killer Whales

Population Identity, Range and Size

Seasonal and Annual Distribution

Feeding Habits

Social Structure

Vocal Behaviour and Dialects

Population Parameters

Watching Transient Killer Whales

Transient Activities and Behaviours

Where to find transients

Watching transients without disturbing them

Catalogue of Transient Killer Whales

Determining Community Membership

The Naming System

Catalogue composition and organization

Sex and Year of Birth

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