via Free Morgan Foundation
PRESS RELEASE by Free Morgan Foundation (www.freemorgan.org)
Morgan fights for freedom.
Morgan has just been given another chance to fight for her freedom.
With financial assistance from Sam Simon, an American director, producer,
writer, cartoonist, and philanthropist, Morgan will now have a chance to appeal
the decision denying her the right to return to the ocean. Morgan was captured
in the waters off the Netherlands, under a ‘rehabilitation and release’
permit. Mr Simon comments “Quite simply, Morgan, an intelligent, highly
social animal that used to swim 100 kilometres a day in the wild, has been
illegally abducted by the captivity industry and is now forced to perform
idiotic tricks in a bathtub. She must be returned to her family. This is
probably her last chance.”
Read more at http://www.freemorgan.org/morgan-fights-for-freedom-appeal-process-started/
Final Day of Public Comment: Keep the Southern Resident Orcas Listed as Endangered
Today is the final day you can provide comment about why you
think NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) should keep the
Southern resident orcas listed as an Endangered Species - and you can read why
it is important to the Orca Network below: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0241-0001
Via Orca Network:
Our comments on the petition to delist So. Resident orcas (in just 1495 characters):
So. Resident orcas need all the protection and all the scientific understanding
possible at a time when they are teetering at only 84 individuals and so many
environmental hazards are impacting them. The core argument of the
petitioners seems to be that So. Resident orcas aren't special and it wouldn't
matter if they disappeared.
Granted that the evolutionary development of large-brained mammals that have, over millions of years, formed into a wide variety of completely distinct cultural communities using symbols to mediate cooperative behavior that is prescribed by ancient traditions, is difficult for the uninformed to understand. Rendell and Whitehead (2001) explain that: “The complex and stable vocal and behavioural cultures of sympatric groups of killer whales (Orcinus orca) appear to have no parallel outside humans, and represent an independent evolution of cultural faculties.”
This is why the So. Residents are a distinct population segment. There is no dispersal from and no recruitment into the community. There is no interbreeding between the So. Residents and any other orcas. Their repertoire of vocalizations is completely
unlike that of any other community, even the behaviorally similar No. Resident
orcas. We have before us an animal that would be best described as nomadic
foraging tribes with extremely rigorous cultural rules governing all aspects of
behavior, including diet and food-sharing, mating, vocalizations, associations,
how to rest and how to celebrate, and no doubt an array of interactions and
rituals that science currently has no way to recognize, much less document.
In short, if we lose the So. Resident orcas we would lose a totally unique
cultural community that has followed its own distinct pattern of development
over many millenia. Science is only beginning to grasp the outlines of the
SRKWs, which could inform our own cultural development and help us avoid some of
the geophysical environmental disasters that we ourselves are causing.
"Death at Seaworld" author David Kirby interviews "Blackfish" director Gabriela Cowperthwaite about Tilikum, the wild-caught Icelandic orca who hasn't left the news since killing his SeaWorld trainer on February 24 2010, and orca captivity.
"Blackfish" has since been picked up for theatrical and TV release - congratulations
to director Gabriela Cowperthwaite and team!
Politics of Orca Conservation
Shared from Alisa Schulman-Janiger:
A KILLER DEBATE: WHO HAS SCIENCE ON THEIR SIDE? Politics of killer whale
conservation revolves around two studies of killer whale genetics, which are
being used to either support keeping southern resident killer whales on the endangered species list, or to delist them.
Central to the debate is the definition of a species - which is no longer clear-cut. Genetics and evolutionary theory continue to change our understanding of how species differentiate. The biological species concept is changing from the static view that a species is a finite product to one where a species is considered to be in a dynamic, continually evolving state. This is challenging to interpret in the legal world where specific lines need to be drawn.
By initiating a review of the status of southern resident killer whales, the petition has forced administrators and lawyers to juggle evolving scientific concepts with seemingly opposing ‘evidence’ from recent genetics studies. It will be their interpretations of what defines a species and which genetic data best represent southern residents that will ultimately determine whether they continue to be protected under Endangered Species Act legislation in the United States.
To read more, visit:
Russian Orcas (Far East Russia Orca Project):
"Cornell Univ. has the world's largest natural sound library, including 126
recordings of killer whales from all over the world, including recordings from
the Antarctic in the 1960s and a recording of resident killer whales off
Victoria, BC in 1960. After years of work, it is now ONLINE and you can search
for any species on the library website: www.macaulaylibrary.org."
Orca Pod Hunting and Killing a Common Dolphin in South African Waters (video footage)
Over 20 years later and the Alaskan AT1 orca population are still suffering from the affects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
For those of you able to get to Whidbey Island (WA, USA) on January 26th, be sure to attend Orca Network's Ways of Whales workshop to learn about killer whales of the Salish Sea. You can register for the event here:
Orca taking King Salmon off a fishing line in Alaska - it is good to see the fishermen taking this so well!
Canadian Orca Expert Talks About Government Funding Cuts for Institute of Ocean Sciences
Orca expert and marine mammal toxicologist Dr. Peter Ross is interviewed about cancelled funding for the Institute of Ocean Sciences made by Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the subsequent loss of the federal marine contaminants research programme: