Best of Blue Dot: What's killing killer whales?
Dave talks to wildlife veterinarian Joe Gaydos from the Sea Doc Society (a research center on Orcas Island in the Salish Sea off the Washington Coast) and UC Davis along with NOAA marine wildlife biologist Dawn Noren as they examine the lives and deaths of one of the Earth's apex predators: Killer Whales.
Both were part of a multi-year study investigating the deaths of whales, mostly in the Pacific Northwest, to determine their cause of death.
Many, it was found, were killed by blunt force trauma due to incidents with boats and ships. Others had more complex causes but often were linked to human activity.
But in addition to the study, Dave, Dawn, and Joe explore the fascinating lives of Orcas, with their complex matriarchal societies, fascinating hunting strategies, and distinctive subspecies based on where they hunt and travel or, in some cases, such as in the Pacific Northwest, reside year-round.