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'Highlights' of killer whale recovery plan featured in Whale Museum lecture

Next up in the Friday Harbor Whale Museum's 2014 Summer Lecture Series is a presentation by marine ecologist Brad Hanson of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the agency tasked with developing a recovery plan for the endangered Southern Resident killer whales.

The talk by Hanson, currently studying the foraging and habitat use of the Southern residents, is entitled "Highlights of NOAA's Report on 10 years of Conservation & Research on SRKW," and get under way at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 8, at the Whale Museum.

With two deaths and zero births so far this year, the population of Southern residents stands at 78, according to the Center for Whale Research, its lowest mark in nearly thirty years.

The San Juan Island-based Center for Whale Research, led by Ken Balcomb, first began tracking and identifying members of Southern residents, consisting of J, K and L pods, to compile a yearly "census" of the population beginning in 1976.

The presentation by Hanson offers an overview of federally funded research accomplishments on behalf of the Southern residents in the past decade. In addition, he will discuss ongoing and new challenges, as well as areas of future research.

A former wildlife biologist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, Hanson earned a doctorate at the University of Washington, specializing in improving tag attachments on small cetaceans, after earning a master's degreee in Fisheries and bachelor of arts in zoology from U of W as well.

The lecture is free. For more information about the 2014 lecture series or about the museum, visit www.whalemuseum.org, or call (360) 378-4710.

 

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