Orcinus orca

Range & Status

Killer Whales are fairly abundant and are found in all of the oceans of the world. However, regional populations can be small and highly specialized and are therefore vulnerable to over-exploitation and habitat deterioration. They exhibit no obvious migration as they are able to feed and breed in either cool or warm waters. In the UK, they are found in the Shetlands, north and west Scotland; off the Irish coastline and south and west coasts of England and Wales (Bleach, 2006). (UK Biodiversity Group, 1999). Although available data are incomplete, abundance estimates for the areas that have been sampled provide a minimum worldwide estimate of 50,000 killer whales (Taylor et al ., 2008e).

Strandings

Four single strandings in the region: 1924 (1), 1927 (1), 1975 (1), 1978 (1).

Sightings

1995 (2), 1996 (1), 1997 (1), 1998 (47), 1999 (18), 2000 (7), 2001 ( 4), 2002 (4), 2003 (7), 2004 (6 ), 2005 (4), 2006 (1).

Conservation

Listed globally as Data Deficient. (Taylor et al ., 2008e. Orcinus orca . In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 18 March 2009.) A UK Biodiversity Grouped Plan species.