Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)
Killer Whales are distinctively marked, with a black back, white chest and sides, and a white patch above and behind the eye. Calves are born with a yellowish or orange tint, which fades to white. Killer Whales have a heavy and stocky body and a large dorsal fin with a dark grey "saddle patch" at the fin's rear. Males can be up to 9.5 m long (31 ft) and weigh in excess of 6 tonnes; it has been reported that especially large males have reached nearer 8 tonnes. Females are smaller, reaching up to 8.5 m (28 ft) and a weight of about 5 tonnes. The longest Killer Whale ever recorded was a male from Washington state, measuring 9.8 m (32 ft). Calves at birth weigh about 180 kg and are about 2.4 m long (8 ft). The Killer Whale's large size and strength make them the fastest marine mammals, often reaching speeds in excess of 56 km/h (35mph).
- States/US Territories in which the Killer Whale, Southern Resident DPS is known to or is believed to occur: Washington
- US Counties in which the Killer Whale, Southern Resident DPS is known to or is believed to occur: View All
- USFWS Refuges in which the Killer Whale, Southern Resident DPS is known to occur:
Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|02/16/2006||National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)||Southern Resident DPS — See 50 CFR 224.101|
» Federal Register Documents
|11/29/2006||71 FR 69054 69070||Designation of Critical Habitat for Southern Resident Killer Whale (NMFS): Final rule.|
|11/18/2005||70 FR 69903 69912||NMFS: Endangered Status for Southern Resident Killer Whales|
|04/04/2007||72 FR 16284 16286||Adding Four Marine Taxa to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Southern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris), staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) and elkhorn (Acropora palmata) corals, and the Southern Resident killer whale DPS (Orcinus orca)|
|Date||Title||Plan Action Status||Plan Status|
|01/17/2008||Recovery Plan for Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca)||View Implementation Progress||Final|
» Critical Habitat
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type||Status|
|11/29/2006||71 FR 69054 69070||Designation of Critical Habitat for Southern Resident Killer Whale (NMFS): Final rule.||Final Rule||Final designated|
To learn more about critical habitat please see http://ecos.fws.gov/crithab
» Conservation Plans
No conservation plans have been created for Killer Whale.
» Life History
No Life History information has been entered into this system for this species.
» Other Resources
NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.
ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.