It’s a wrap! SR3’s Dr. Holly Fearnbach and colleagues Dr. John Durban (NOAA) and Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard (Coastal Ocean Research Institute) have completed their September health assessment of the endangered population of Southern Resident killer whales (SRKWs). This past month they used an unmanned hexacopter drone to fly a total of 63 flights over 63 individual SRKWs and 11 individual Bigg’s (transient) killer whales to collect high resolution images that will be analyzed to quantify growth and body condition. This completes the seventh photogrammetry effort on Southern Resident killer whales since 2008; this population now numbers less than 80 individuals, the lowest abundance in more than two decades. There is increasing concern about the nutritional health of SRKWs due to low Chinook salmon availability. The primary goal of this project is to monitor changes in nutritional health over time. As a NOAA designated “Species in the Spotlight”, conservation goals include ensuring an adequate supply of prey to aid in the recovery of the population. Over the past two months, the team flew a total of 232 flights over 236 individual killer whales from the Northern Resident, Southern Resident, and Bigg’s (transient) populations. The resultant high-resolution images will be analyzed to compare the health of these populations in relation to prey availability.