Orca Research Trust
OUR MISSION STATEMENT: To Protect Orca & their Habitat, through Conservation, Education and Scientific Research.
The Orca Research Trust was established in 1998 by Dr. Ingrid Visser as a non-profit, registered Trust (Charities Commission Registration # = CC10041). It specialises in conducting research on wild orca.
We offer expertise at an unprecedented level. We were instrumental in reclassifying the status of New Zealand orca to “Nationally Critical”. This is the highest threat ranking any species can be classified as, and is equivalent to the International classification “Endangered”.
Originally founded to support the New Zealand based Ph.D. work of Dr. Visser, it now also operates at an international level, working with other projects (Antarctic Killer Whale Identification Catalogue, Punta Norte Orca Research) and hosting international students, volunteers and teachers (as well as those from New Zealand).
OUR FOCUS IS THREE-FOLD
1. Conservation & Protection of Orca and their habitat
2. Education (all ages)
3. Scientific Research on wild Orca
OUR GOALS AND OUTPUTS:
1. Educational Publications, including;
• Education Pack with Teachers Manual & Student Activities
• Resources on our website www.orcaresearch.org
• Popular & Scientific style Articles
• Brochure “Boating Around Marine Mammals”
• Hosting teachers for educational out-reach
• Visiting schools for teachers
2. Scientific Research, including;
• Continuation of the Photo Identification Catalogues
• Foraging Ecology of Orca (what they feed on & how they catch it)
• Culture in Orca (their social structure & other aspects)
• Distribution and Population Structure
• Acoustic recordings
3. Rescue Stranded Orca
• Attend and assist at Orca strandings
• Collected relevant data (photographs, measurements, heart rates, skin samples etc)
• Monitor Rescued Orca
4. Assist NZ Government with;
• Department of Conservation Action Plan for Marine Mammals 2005-10
• Production of a ‘Species Recovery Plan’ for Orca (documentation necessary to support ‘Nationally Critical, Threatened’ species listing)
• Modification of the Procedures for rescuing Stranded Orca (currently, single stranded orca are killed, unless Dr Visser is there to intervene)
5. Support Conservation Issues through;
• Providing data and information to stakeholders for submissions
• Encouraging and supporting Marine Reserves and protected areas
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