We are excited to announce that the new Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program website has just been launched.  Not only can you adopt a wild killer whale to support our conservation-based research, but it’s also a great source of information if you are interested in learning about the northern resident, southern resident, and Bigg’s (transient) killer whales that call B.C’s waters home.

Ocean Wise

The Marine Mammal Research Program uses this drone for studying northern resident killer whales.

What is the Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program?

Founded in 1992 by well-known killer whale researcher Dr. John Ford to help cover operational costs of the Cetacean Research Program, the Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program continues today to be a source of funding for the research carried out by killer whale expert Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, director of the Marine Mammal Research Program.

Ocean Wise

Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, director of the Marine Mammal Research Program at Ocean Wise.

Killer whales in British Columbia are listed as either endangered or threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. Learning everything we can about killer whales is paramount to ensure the best standards and regulations are set to protect them.

Our parent institution, Ocean Wise Conservation Association, is a non-profit conservation organization. This means that our research projects – such as the photogrammetry study and our genetics research – rely on grants, donations, and our fundraising program, the Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program. Funds raised through the Adoption Program directly help to offset research costs. A substantial portion of the funds goes towards the Marine Mammal Research Program’s annual killer whale field research and analyzing DNA samples in our Conservation Genetics Lab.

Ocean Wise/NOAA/SR3

Aerial photos of killer whales like this one allow researchers to determine their body condition using a technique called photogrammetry, which measures their length and width.

Your adoption of a wild killer whale directly helps to offset these costs and make research possible. Adopt now!