The primary prey species of mammal-eating killer whales in the Salish Sea, the inland waters of southern British Columbia and Washington state, have experienced dramatic increases in population abundances in the last 25 years. It is possible that changes in prey abundance over time have resulted in changes in predator spatial use, occurrence and group size. Focused studies of mammal-eating killer whale behavior in the area were undertaken from 1987–1993, and an extensive record of sightings with confirmed identifications was available from 2004–2010. Changes in occurrence across years, months, and subareas of the Salish Sea were examined as well as changes in group size and in the identity of specific matrilines using the area. Occurrence of mammal-eating whales increased significantly from 2004–2010 with different seasonal peaks compared to 1987–1993. Different matrilines occurred in different seasons, time periods, and subareas. Group size was larger in 2004–2010 than in 1987–1993. The whales may be increasing use of the area due to increasing prey abundance or an overall increase in the whale population size. Changes in seasonal patterns of occurrence and the increase in group size between the two periods could be due to increased prey diversity.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 89 • No. 2