Translating science into action
to save Southern Resident killer whales
from extinction.

The Problem

The Southern Resident killer whales are one of the most studied and well-known endangered species on the planet yet efforts to save them have been largely unsuccessful. All too often, research is not being translated into meaningful policy or action; instead, studies are put on shelves, rather than into the hands of those charged with their recovery.

The Challenge

Reverse the declining trend in the population of Southern Resident killer whales and create a balanced ecosystem to serve as the foundation for their recovery.

Our Solution

Fill knowledge gaps through high-impact, non-invasive conservation research. Arm policymakers with the latest available science, underpinned by the urgency for recovery. Engage the public with accessible and digestible information, initiate opportunities for direct engagement with policymakers to create accountability.

What We Do

Conservation Research

Wild Orca’s Killer Whale Health Monitoring utilizes non-invasive methods to reveal a near real-time window into the health of endangered Southern Resident killer whales. We coordinate with management agencies to inform the development of timely protections. We seek to fill knowledge gaps about the relationship between human pressures and recovery needs.

Strategic Advocacy

We believe science should be actionable. We make conservation science accessible, digestible and actionable by translating science and providing opportunities for individuals, organizations and management agencies to engage with policymakers in an effort to create change and accountability. We believe everyone has a unique role to play and an action to take.

Policy Engagement

To recover Southern Resident killer whales, public policy and regulation must be rooted in accurate and timely science. We work directly with stakeholders, organizations and management agencies to ensure that decisions are made based on the best available science and an understanding of the urgency required for recovery.

Our Beliefs

Meaningful Research

We believe in conducting and engaging with research that has the potential to inform action. That means understanding the needs of decision makers to help them protect the Southern Resident killer whales.

Impact Focused

We believe in staying focused on what is needed most to help save the Southern Resident killer whales. That means bringing research forward as soon as it is available and addressing the root causes affecting the ecosystems that the Southern Resident killer whales rely on.

Intrinsic Value of Orcas

We believe that Orcas have an intrinsic right to exist in healthy ecosystems that allow them to thrive as sentient beings. Orcas are not just charismatic megafauna, but essential members of our oceans that should be protected.

Non-Invasive Research

We believe research methods should be as non-invasive as possible. Research should help protect these animals and not cause any undue harm or create a barrier to their ability to exist as they naturally would.

Actionable Science

We believe in the ethos of Conservation Biology. That means going beyond science for science’s sake toward conducting and supporting research with an eye toward careful advocacy for the Southern Resident killer whales. By translating science into educated action, we give everyone a unique role to play and an action to take.

Our Story

Wild Orca is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Washington state, founded in 2014 by two commercial seaplane pilots passionate about saving the endangered orcas they saw from their unique perspective flying over the Salish Sea. Joined in 2017 by killer whale biologist—Dr. Deborah Giles—as Science & Research Director, Wild Orca harnesses the talents of its dedicated team, together with passionate grassroots supporters, into becoming the leading voice for advocating for change and recovery of this endangered population.