Target: Dr. John E. Stein, Science and Research Director, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Goal: Expand critical habitat protection for orcas in the Northwest region as soon as possible.
The southern resident killer whale (SRKW), an endangered species that resides off the Northwest coast of the U.S., is in serious danger of becoming extinct. Despite being on the endangered species list since 2005, the population of these whales has not significantly improved, and the National Marine Fisheries Service has laid out a plan to start extending habitat protections for them sometime in 2017. This future plan, however, is simply not enough. These beautiful animals are declining in numbers, and it is essential that we don’t wait another year to begin increasing protection of their critical habitats.
As of now, there are 85 remaining orcas of this species, three fewer than in 2005 when they were placed on the endangered species list. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is conducting a five-year status review of this species, and many conservation groups think this is the perfect time for the administration to recognize that their plans to expand protected habitats for these whales need to be implemented much sooner than 2017. There are many contributing factors to these whales’ endangerment, including pollution, noise, and dwindling food sources. The new plan intends to add an additional 9,000 square miles of ocean along the west coast where the orcas will be protected from government agencies, commercial fishing companies, and other developers. Protecting this additional area is important because it incorporates habitats where the orcas go during the winter to find food.
This particular species of orca is the most endangered species of killer whale in the world. Their numbers are incredibly tenuous, and there is no reason why every effort to protect them should not be taken. Please sign the below petition to show your support for the implementation of increased habitat protection for these whales as soon as possible.
Dear Dr. Stein,
I am writing to request that you and your agency not wait any longer in implementing increased habitat protections for the southern resident killer whale. These orcas have been on the endangered species list since 2005, yet their population numbers have not significantly improved. Obviously these animals are not getting the protection they need to increase their population and their chance of continued survival as a species.
While it is an excellent step in the right direction, your agency’s plan to increase the amount of protected habitat for these animals is not scheduled to go into effect until 2017. As of now, there are only 85 of these whales remaining, and this is 3 fewer than when they went on the endangered species list in 2005. With their numbers continuing to dwindle, and with no real improvement in their status over the past 10 years, it is obvious that new tactics need to be taken as soon as possible to increase these animals’ chances of survival.
This particular species is the most endangered species of killer whale in the world, and it is essential that every effort be made to save them. With their incredibly tenuous numbers, there is no reason why every effort should not be taken to protect them. Please support and protect these whales by implementing your agency’s plan for increased habitat protection for them as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Robert Pittman