Lifespan varies between the sexes; females tend to outlive their male counterparts by roughly 10-20 years. On average, female Southern Resident killer whales can live to be 80 years old and males 50. Over the last several decades we have seen the lifespan of Southern Resident killer whales decline, most likely due to a combination of ingested toxins and a lack of salmon upon which they depend. These threats can result in severe health issues for killer whales including reduced reproductive success, compromised immune systems, and a shortened lifespan.

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