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Killer whale population in decline : how is the decreasing population of Southern Resident killer whales connected to prey selection and availability? Public Deposited

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  • Overview: The population of Southern Resident killer whales has been on the decline for decades, dropping 20% since the mid 1990s. Starvation appears to be a factor in the deaths of many of these whales. The Southern Resident killer whales survive mainly on a diet of Chinook salmon, which is another species in decline due to a variety of human impacts. In this lesson, students explore how the selective feeding practices of Southern Resident killer whales contribute to their declining numbers.
  • Learning Goals: Students will learn the following: • Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) and Chinook salmon populations are in significant decline due to the impacts of human activities on marine ecosystems. • Environmental changes affect food web dynamics. • SRKWs and juvenile Chinook salmon are selective feeders. • Effective species recovery plans for SRKW and Chinook salmon include an understanding of ecosystem relationships.
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  • The 2019-20 ORSEA materials are based upon work supported by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, as well as the National Science Foundation Regional Class Research Vessels under Cooperative Agreement No. 1333564 Award: OCE-1748726.
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