Recovery Strategies

Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada

Two distinct populations of Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca), known as the Northern and Southern Residents, occupy the waters off the west coast of Canada. In 2001, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) designated Southern Resident Killer Whales as Endangered and Northern Resident Killer Whales as Threatened. Both populations are listed in Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). These two populations are acoustically, genetically, and culturally distinct.

The “Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) in Canada” was finalized and published on the Species at Risk Public Registry in 2008. Minor amendments to the Recovery Strategy were made in 2011 to provide additional clarification regarding critical habitat for Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales. The Recovery Strategy was amended again in 2018 to include identification of additional critical habitat for these populations, to provide clarification of the features, functions, and attributes for all Resident Killer Whale critical habitat, and to provide minor updates to background and species information.

Consultation period: 2018-09-04 to 2018-11-03


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Contact Person(s)

SARA Directorate
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
200 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E6
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Related Species


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