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

Recovery Plan for Southern Resident Killer Whales
Critical Habitat for Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment
Biological Assessment of Southern Resident Orcas (Orcinus orca) in Oregon and Evaluation of Criteria to Classify the Species as Endangered under the Oregon Endangered Species Act
Marine Mammal Protection Act

Life History Traits