Two Endangered Icons: Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook Salmon

Kenneth Balcomb, senior scientist at the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor, Washington, explains the connection between the Southern Resident killer whales (orcas) and chinook salmon. The whales prefer chinook salmon over any other food source and scientists have determined there’s a tight correlation between the two populations. When the salmon are abundant, the whales thrive. When the salmon are scarce, the Southern Resident orca population suffers.