top of page



The following is a list of many of the Center for Whale Research publications. New articles are added once available. In most cases, a full PDF is available for download.

CWR Publications - Killer Whales

• 2015 Whale sightings in the Salish Sea. Jane Cogan, Center for Whale Research. Full PDF


• Report on Population Viability Analysis model investigations of threats to the Southern Resident Killer Whale population from Trans Mountain Expansion Project
Full PDF

• Brent et al., 2015, Current Biology 25, 1–5

Lauren J.N. Brent, Daniel W. Franks, Michael A. Cant,
Darren P. Croft

Ecological Knowledge, Leadership, and the Evolution of Menopause in Killer Whales 
In Brief: Brent et al. show that postreproductively aged female resident killer whales aremore likely to lead collective movement. Leadership by these females is especially prominent in difficult years when salmon abundance is low. This is the first evidence that the wisdom of elders can drive selection on survival following the termination of reproduction.

Full PDF


• Darren P. Croft, Lauren J.N. Brent, Daniel W. Franks, and Michael A. Cant
The evolution of prolonged life after reproduction  

Full PDF

• Foster, Emma A., Daniel W. Franks, Sonia Mazzi, Safi K. Darden, Ken C. Balcomb, John K. B. Ford, Darren P. Croft
Adaptive Prolonged Postreproductive Life Span in Killer Whales

Full PDF 


Foster, Emma A. 2011.

Social network correlates of food availability in an endangered population of killer whales, Orcinus orca. Animal Behviour 83 731-736.

Full PDF 


•  Fearnbach, Holly, John W. Durban, Dave K. Ellifrit, and  Ken C. Balcomb III. 2011.

Size and long-term growth trends of Endangered fish-eating killer whales. Endangered Species Research 13(3):173-180.
Full PDF 


•  Ford, et al, 2011.

Inferred Paternity and Male Reproductive Success in a Killer Whale (Orcinus Orca) Population.  Journal of Heredity. Volume 102.
Full PDF 


• Ward, E.J. et al. 2009.

The role of menopause and reproductive senescence in a long-lived social mammal. Frontiers in Zoology  6:4. 
Full PDF

• K.M. Parsons, K.C. Balcomb, J.K.B. Ford, J.W. Durban 2009.

The social dynamics of southern resident killer whales and conservation implications for this endangered population. Animal Behavior Vol 77.

Full PDF 


• Durban, J.W., Parsons K.M. 2006.

Laser-Metrics of Free-Ranging Killer Whales. Marine Mammal Science 22(3): 735–743.  
Full PDF 


• Ford, J.K.B., Ellis, G.M. and Olesium, P.F. 2005b.

Linking prey and population dynamics: did food limitation cause recent declines of ‘resident’ killer whales (Orcinus orca) in British Columbia? Research Document 2005/042. Canadian Science and Advisory Secretariat, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Full PDF 


• Ford, J.K.B.; Ellis, G.M.; Matkin, Dr; Balcomb, K.C.; Briggs D; Morton, AB. 2005a.

Killer whale attacks on minke whales: Prey capture and antipredator tactics. Marine Mammal Science 21: 603-618.

Full PDF 


• Ford, J.K.B., and G.M. Ellis. 2005.

Prey selection and food sharing by fish-eating ‘resident’ killer whales (Orcinus orca) in British Columbia. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Research Document 2005/041.


• Gaydos, J.K., Balcomb, K.C., Osborne, R.W, Dierauf, L. 2004.

Evaluating potential infectious disease threats for southern resident killer whales, Orcinus orca: a model for endangered species. Biological Conservation 117 (3) 253- 262. 
Full PDF


• Krahn, M.M. et al. 2002.

Status review of southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) under the Endangered Species Act. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memo. NMFS-NWFSC-54, 133p.

Full PDF


• Ford, J.K.B. et al. 2000.
Killer Whales: The natural history and genealogy of Orcinus orca in British Columbia and Washington State, Second Edition. UBC Press, Vancouver.

• Smith, J.C., Balcomb-Bartok, K.M., R.W. Osborne, R.W., and K.C. Balcomb III. (1999)
The L25 subpod of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Dyes Inlet, Washington (1997).

• Ford, J.K.B., G.M. Ellis, L.G. Barrett-Lennard, A.B. Morton, R.S. Palm, and K.C. Balcomb III. 1998.
Dietary specialization in two sympatric populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in coastal British Columbia and adjacent waters. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76(8): 1456-1471.
Full PDF

• Ford, J.K.B. et al. 1994.

Killer Whales: The natural history and genealogy of Orcinus orca in British Columbia and Washington State. UBC Press, Vancouver.


• Stacy, P.J., Baird R.W. 1997.

Birth of a ‘Resident’ killer whale off Victoria, British Columbia. Marine Mammal Science 13(3): 504-508.


• Brault, S. and Caswell, H. 1993.

Pod-specific demography of killer whales (Orcinus orca). Ecology 74(5): 1444-1454.

Full PDF 


• Olesiuk, P.F. et al. 1990.

Life history and population dynamics of resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the coastal waters of British Columbia and Washington State. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 12: 209-244.

• Bigg, M.A. et al. 1990.

Social organization and genealogy of resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the coastal waters of British Columbia and Washington State. Reports of the International Whaling Commission, Special Issue 12: 383-405.


• Bigg, M.A. et al. 1987.

Killer Whales: A Study of Their Identification, Genealogy and Natural History in British Columbia and Washington State. Phantom Press, Nanaimo. 79p.


• Balcomb, K.C. III and Bigg, M.A. 1986.

Population biology of three resident killer whale pods in Puget Sound and off southern Vancouver Island in B.C. Kerkevold and J.S. Lockard (eds.), Behavioural biology of killer whales, p. 85-95. Alan R. Liss, Inc., New York.


• Heimlich-Boran, J.R. 1986.

Behavioural ecology of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Pacific Northwest. Canadian Journal of Zoology 66: 565-578.

• Balcomb, K.C. and Goebel, C.A. 1976.

A killer whale study in Puget Sound. Final report, Contract No. NASO-6-35330. Marine Mammal Division, National Marine Fisheries Service, Seattle, WA, 11p.

Wild Animal Mortality Investigation: Southern Resident killer whale, L112 » Final report and comments by Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research.  

Humpback Whales

• Calambokidis, J., Cubbage, J.C., Steiger, G.H., Balcomb, K.C., Bloedel, P. 1990a.

Population estimates of humpback whales in the Gulf of the Farralones, California. Report of the International Whaling Commission Special Issue 12.


Calambokidis, J., Steiger, G.H., Evenson, J.R., Flynn, K.R., Balcomb, K.C., Claridge, D.E., Bloedel, P., Straley, J.M.; Baker, C.S., von Ziegesar, O, Dahlheim, M.E., Waite, J.M., Darling, J.D., Ellis, G., Green, G.A. 1996.

Interchange and isolation of humpback whales off California and other North Pacific feeding grounds. Marine Mammal Science 2:215-226.


Darling, J.D., Calambokidis, J., Balcomb, K.C., Bloedel, P, Flynn, K, Mochizuki, A, Mori, K., Sato, F., Suganuma, H., Yamaguchi, M. 1996.

Movement of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) from Japan to British Columbia and return. Marine Mammal Science 12: 281-287.


Urban, J; Alvarez, C., Salinas, M., Jacobsen, J., Balcomb, K.C., Jaramillo, A., de Guevara, PL, Aguayo, A. 1999.

Population size of humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, in waters off the Pacific coast of Mexico. Fishery Bulletin 97: 1017- 1024.

Calambokidis, J.; Steiger, G.H.; Rasmussen, K.; Urban, J.; Balcomb, K.C.; de Guevara, P.L.; Salinas, M.; Jacobsen, J.K.; Baker, C.S.; Herman, L.M.; Cerchio, S.; Darling, J.D. 2000.

Migratory destinations of humpback whales that feed off California, Oregon and Washington. Marine Ecology Progress Series 192: 295-304.

• Calambokidis, J.; Steiger, G.H.; Straley, J.M.; Herman, L.M.; Cerchio, S.; Salden, D.R.; Urban, J.; Jacobsen, J.K.; von Ziegesar, O.; Balcomb, K.C.; Gabriele, C.M.; Dahlheim, M.E.; Uchida, S.; Ellis, G.; Miyamura, Y.; de Guevara, P.L.; Yamaguchi, M.; Sato, F.; Mizroch, S.A.; Schlender, L.; Rasmussen, K.; Barlow, J.; Quinn, T.J. 2001.

Movements and population structure of humpback whales in the North Pacific. Marine Mammal Science 17: 769-794.

Steiger, GH; Calambokidis, J; Sears, R; Balcomb, K.C.; Cubbage, JC. 1991.

Movement of humpback whales between California and Costa Rica. Marine Mammal Science 7: 306-310.



Blue Whales

Calambokidis, J.; Steiger, G.H.; Cubbage, J.C.; Balcomb, K.C.; Ewald, C.; Kruse, S.; Wells, R.; Sears, R. 1990b.
Sightings and movements of blue whales off central California 1986-1988 from photo-identification of individuals. 


• Claridge, D.E. 1994.

Photo-identification study to assess the population size of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in central Abaco. Bahamas Journal of Science 1: 12-16.


• Dahlheim, M. E., D. K. Ellifrit, and J. D. Swenson. 1997.

Killer whales of southeast Alaska. A catalogue of photo-identified individuals. Day Moon, Seattle.


• Durban, J.W.; Parsons, K.M.; Claridge, D.E.; Balcomb, K.C. 2000.

Quantifying dolphin occupancy patterns. Marine Mammal Science 16: 825-828.


• Parsons, K.M.; Dallas, J.F.; Claridge, D.E.; Durban, J.W.; Balcomb, K.C.; Thompson, P.M.; Noble, L.R. 1999.

Amplifying dolphin mitochondrial DNA from faecal plumes. Molecular Ecology 8: 1766- 1768.


• Parsons, KM. 2001.

Reliable microsatellite genotyping of dolphin DNA from faeces. Molecular Ecology Notes. 100:341-344.


• Parsons, K.M., Durban, J.W., Claridge, D.E., Herzing, D.L., Balcomb, K.C., and Noble, L.N. 2006.

Population genetic structure of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the northern Bahamas. Marine Mammal Science 22(2): 276-298.

Full PDF

Fearnbach, H., Durban, J., Parsons, K. and Claridge, D. 2012.

Photographic mark-recapture analysis of local dynamics within an open population of dolphins. Ecological Applications, 22(5):1689-1700.

Fearnbach, H., Durban, J., Parsons, K and Claridge, D. 2012.

Seasonality of calving and predation risk in bottlenose dolphins on Little Bahama Bank. Marine Mammal Science. 28: 402-411

Cetaceans General

• Durban, J.W.; Elston, D.A.; Ellifrit, D.K.; Dickson, E.; Hammond, P.S.; Thompson, P.M. 2005a.

Multi-site mark-recapture for cetaceans: population estimates with Bayesian model averaging. Marine Mammal Science 21: 80-92.


• Durban, J.W. and Elston, D.A. 2005b.

Mark-recapture with occasion and individual effects: abundance estimation through Bayesian model selection. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics 10(3): 291-305.

Full PDF


• Parsons, K.M., Durban, J.W. and Claridge, D.E. 2003.

Comparing two alternative methods for sampling small cetaceans for molecular analysis. Marine Mammal Science, 19(1): 224-231.

bottom of page