Killer Whale

Photo Credit: NOAA Fisheries


  • Species Common Name Killer Whale
  • Species Scientific Name Orcinus orca
  • Federal Listing Status Endangered
  • State Listing Status Endangered
  • SMU/ESU/DPS/Subspecies Southern Resident DPS


Special needs

This acoustically-oriented species is highly sensitive to noise disturbance.

Limiting factors

Small population size and low productivity make killer whales vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts.

Conservation actions

Observe federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act protections. Fill data gaps for species' use of Oregon waters.

Key reference or plan

12-Month Finding on a Petition To Revise the Critical Habitat Designation for the Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment Marine Mammal Protection Act

Life History Traits