Drones offer new perspective on resident killer whale behaviour


Scientists at the University of British Columbia are getting a rare glimpse into the underwater behaviour of northern and southern resident killer whales off the B.C. coast, with the help of aerial drones.

The unique footage, filmed in collaboration with the Hakai Institute, will help researchers determine if endangered southern residents are getting enough of their preferred prey, Chinook salmon, to meet their nutritional needs. The insights will inform conservation and recovery efforts for the population that has dwindled to under 75 individuals.

These orcas live in my “neighbourhood.” I’m so lucky to live in a place where sightings are a regular occurrence. This drone footage gives even greater insight into their activities.