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Home » Archives » July 2018 » Whale Force One: Drones Used To Study Orcas

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07/22/2018: "Whale Force One: Drones Used To Study Orcas" (38k image)On July 25th, Taylor Shedd, The Whale Museum’s Soundwatch Program Coordinator, will present “Whale Force One: Utilizing Aerial Drone to Study the Foraging Behavior of Southern Resident Killer Whales.” This lecture will be held at the Whale Museum at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, as part of The Whale Museum’s Summer Lecture Series.

Taylor Shedd is The Whale Museum’s Soundwatch Program Coordinator. He recently completed his master degree at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California where he studied the foraging behavior of the Southern Residents. The Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population has experienced a 10 percent decline in population since 2005, and now numbers only 75 individuals, the lowest in 30 years.

The SRKWs have been shown to be food-limited with declines in survival and reproduction in years following low salmon availability. Diet studies conducted on the SRKWs have shown a strong prey preference for Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the summer, yet uncertainty remains about prey preference and foraging behavior. To help fill this data gap, Taylor used high-resolution aerial images to quantify and describe foraging behavior from a new perspective.

The Summer Lecture Series is dedicated to providing our local community and visiting public with knowledge and wonder of the natural world. The lectures are given by local or visiting experts in their field. Join us as they share their recent research projects, stories, and experiences. Each lecture is free and held at The Whale Museum. Donations are greatly appreciated.

For more information, call (360) 378-4710 ext.30. The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum's mission is to promote stewardship of whales through education and research. The Whale Museum can be found on-line at

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