After humans, killer whales are the most socially and ecologically complex species on the planet. They pass on cultural traditions down generations, just like us. ADOPT a whale and help us learn more - including how best to protect them.

Northern resident population


In the summer, northern residents are most commonly observed in the waters around the northern end of Vancouver Island, and in sheltered inlets along B.C.’s Central and North Coasts. They are sometimes seen in the same areas in the winter, and sometimes in the waters of southeast Alaska.


Northern residents are listed as threatened in Canada. 


The northern resident population numbers approximately 250 whales. 


Three- A, G, R Clan


Northern resident killer whales are the only population known to rub on beach stones. Beach rubbing, as it’s called, is a highly ritualized social behavior that occurs in only a few locations.   The whales become excited as they approach   the rubbing beaches , blow the air out of their lungs so they sink, and scrub their bodies on smooth stones in the shallows.
The best-known rubbing beach is in the Robson Bight-Michael Bigg Ecological Reserve in Johnstone Strait.

Northern residents are primarily found off the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the North and Central Coast of BC. 

Northern residents are the only group of killer whales known to participate in 'beach rubbing'.