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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Orcinus orca - Killer Whale

Range & Status

Killer Whales are fairly abundant and are found in all of the oceans of the world. However, regional populations can be small and highly specialized and are therefore vulnerable to over-exploitation and habitat deterioration. They exhibit no obvious migration as they are able to feed and breed in either cool or warm waters. In the UK, they are found in the Shetlands, north and west Scotland; off the Irish coastline and south and west coasts of England and Wales (Bleach, 2006). (UK Biodiversity Group, 1999). Although available data are incomplete, abundance estimates for the areas that have been sampled provide a minimum worldwide estimate of 50,000 killer whales (Taylor et al ., 2008e).


Four single strandings in the region: 1924 (1), 1927 (1), 1975 (1), 1978 (1).


1995 (2), 1996 (1), 1997 (1), 1998 (47), 1999 (18), 2000 (7), 2001 ( 4), 2002 (4), 2003 (7), 2004 (6 ), 2005 (4), 2006 (1).


Listed globally as Data Deficient. (Taylor et al ., 2008e. Orcinus orca . In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 18 March 2009.) A UK Biodiversity Grouped Plan species.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.