The resident killer whales around Vancouver Island are comprised of
- Northern Resident Community
- range extends from about mid Vancouver Island north to the southeast
tip of Alaska.
- total populatoin as of 1997 is 200.
- compromised of 9 pods: A,B,C,D,G,H,I,R,W.
- Southern Resident Community
- range extends from the southern borders of the northern community into
southern Puget Sound, around southern Vancouver Island, and down the west
coast of Washington State to about Grays Harbor
- total population as of 1998 is 89.
- comprised of three pods: J,K,L.
Characteristics of the Resident Pods around Vancouver Island include:
- Resident pods contain 5 to 50 individuals.
- Resident pods are seen commonly during May-October and some residents
pods are seen throughout the year in the inland waters around Vancouver
- Resident pods travel about 100 miles every day and have a total range
of about 500 miles.
- The travel pattern of residents is that they tend to travel along predictable
routes, generally headland to headland along the shore and seldom change
direction unless they are in pursuit of prey.
- Resident pods eat cold blooded animals primarily salmon.
- Resident pods vocalize more than transients and have dialects of 5-15
- Residents have a fairly regular dive pattern of 3 to 4 short dives
of about 15 seconds, followed by a longer 3-4 minute dive.
- The physical appearance of residents is different from transients.
The dorsal fin tip of residents tends to be rounded and positioned over
the rear insertion of the fin to the back and the front edge of the fin
tends to be straight or curved slightly back. The saddle patch of residents
can be closed, showing uniform gray coloration or open, showing various
amounts of black.