Orca Sound

Orca Sound is a citizen science project started in 2010 representing a coalition of citizens, educators, and scientists seeking to expand a regional hydrophone network in the Salish Sea (off the coast of Vancouver and Seattle). Orcas in the Salish Sea are under threat from human activity and changes in the food chain, and so monitoring them is essential to tracking their numbers and activity levels in their natural habitat. Participants learn how to identify individual orca’s unique bioacoustic signatures, and log their findings on a shared website. Participants can also listen to collected recordings and learn to better identify orcas in their own work, increasing their accuracy of their recordings. Records collected by Orca Sound have also contributed to education efforts outside of the participating citizen science community, with their recordings exhibited at the Seattle Aquarium and the Langley Whale Center. This is also an example of international cooperation and initiative, since the Salish Sea and participants are clustered along the pacific northwest in Canada and the U.S. With citizen scientists actively engaging in monitoring, a more accurate and complete picture of the population size and health of orcas in the Salish Sea grows.


Biodiversity, Citizen Science, Ecological Monitoring, Monitoring