Mammals Marine

In the Company of Whales by Alexandra Morten 1993 Excerpts from the diary of a naturalist and photographer living on an island off the coast of British Columbia report on her experiences watching and listening to killer whales, and what she has discovered about their behavior

Listening to the Whales: What the Orcas have Taught Us, Alexandra Morton, Ballantine Books 2002

My most admired conservation biologist and champion of the salmon. Fond memories of fleeting collaboration at her home in the Broughton Group as we sailed north in the early nineties to establish the Great Bear campaign

Marine Mammals of British Columbia by John Ford, 2014, Royal BC Museum Handbook Dr John Ford presents the latest information on 31 species that live in or visit Canada’s west-coast waters: 25 cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and 6 carnivores (seals, sea lions and the Sea Otter). He discusses their general biology, including how they feed, communicate, reproduce and behave in the marine environment. He also describes each species and summarizes its distribution, habitat, social organization, exploitation by humans, conservation status and much more.

Orca: How We Came To Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator by Jason M. Colby. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. viii, 394 pages. This book by UVic professor Jason Colby details the history of killer whale captures and display in the Salish Sea area from the harpooning of Moby Doll. It shows how as we learned about the social life of these amazing animals, our attitudes changed from deep rooted fear to fascination and ultimately what can only be described as emotional bonds.

Return of The Sea Otter: The Story of the Animal That Evaded Extinction on the Pacific Coast by Todd McLeish. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2018. xii, 238 pages. Another book about a charismatic animal driven to the edge of extinction because of its incredible fur. The book describes the attempts at re-introduction, which thankfully have succeeded, at least in more remote places. In addition to biology, the author describes perceived negative effects on coastal communities as the otter populations rebounded.

Spirits of the Coast edited by Dr. Martha Black, Dr. Lorne Hammond and Dr Gavin Hanke with Nikki Sanchez ISBN 9780772677686 Royal BC Museum press 2020 With contributors ranging from Briony Penn to David Suzuki, Gary Geddes and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, this collection brings together diverse voices, young and old, to explore the magic, myths and ecology of orcas. A literary and visual journey through past and possibility, Spirits of the Coast illustrates how these enigmatic animals have shaped us as much as our actions have impacted them, and provokes the reader to imagine the shape of our shared future.

War of the Whales. by Joshua Horwitz, Simon and Schuster, 2014 Bob Woodward, co-author of “All the President’s Men” had this to say “a brilliant, grippingly told tale of the secret and deadly struggle between American national security and the kings of the ocean” It’s about a living legend of a Salish Sea cetologist, Ken Balcomb. The colourful, adventurous champion of the southern resident killer whales has run The Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island going on four decades and that’s where I got to know him. Generous in sharing his knowledge and his collection of slides, Ken gave me the opportunity to put on elaborate slide shows about whales in Victoria including a big one with a concert piano on stage supplying the background music at the Royal BC Museum theatre.

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