Presentation Title

Analyzing the Effects of the Number and Type of Boat Vessels on Various Behaviours of Southern Resident Orcas (Orcinus orca) Observed in the Salish Sea

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented Friday March 31, 2017

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of the number and type of boat vessels on various social behaviours of southern resident orcas observed within a specified study area off the west coast of San Juan Island in the Salish Sea. It is hypothesized that as vessel numbers increase, travelling behaviours will increase and social behaviours will remain neutral, and that vessels larger in size (that have more propellers and create more noise) will also increase travelling behaviours and leave social behaviours unaffected. This study is significant as it may add to literature that more accurately specifies what effects vessels have on orca behaviour. Furthermore, increased knowledge in this area may aid in establishing better strategies to help protect the endangered, southern resident orcas and their unique habitat: the Salish Sea.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Karen Steensma and Elizabeth Zwamborn

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Analyzing the Effects of the Number and Type of Boat Vessels on Various Behaviours of Southern Resident Orcas (Orcinus orca) Observed in the Salish Sea

The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of the number and type of boat vessels on various social behaviours of southern resident orcas observed within a specified study area off the west coast of San Juan Island in the Salish Sea. It is hypothesized that as vessel numbers increase, travelling behaviours will increase and social behaviours will remain neutral, and that vessels larger in size (that have more propellers and create more noise) will also increase travelling behaviours and leave social behaviours unaffected. This study is significant as it may add to literature that more accurately specifies what effects vessels have on orca behaviour. Furthermore, increased knowledge in this area may aid in establishing better strategies to help protect the endangered, southern resident orcas and their unique habitat: the Salish Sea.