As part of the 14th Annual Whale and Jazz Festival happenings along the Mendonoma Coast through May, join cetacean researcher and Executive Director of Naked Whale Research, Jodi C. Smith, at Gualala Arts Center for an exciting discussion about mating behavior in killer whales.
Tonight, Thursday, April 27, at 7 p.m. in Coleman Hall, Smith will discuss how sex-play and mating contribute to long-term social bonds among Southern Resident killer whales; strengthening both individual pod membership and family stability. She will also illustrate the potential benefits of, and the important role that post-reproductive “grandmothers” play in a matrilineal fish-eating killer whale culture.
Smith founded Naked Whale Research, a killer whale research in 2010. The purpose of the organization is to study the behavior of killer whales, particularly the Endangered Southern Resident J, K, and L pods, of the Pacific West Coast.
Naked Whale Research is located on the Northern California Coast in Mendocino County. The location provides the opportunity to help fill in the data gaps of killer whale behavior during their seasonal travel between summer and winter habitats of the San Juan Islands in Northern Washington State and Monterey Bay, CA.
Given the lack of studies conducted between these distant points, Naked Whale researchers are excited to be positioned to enrich the research community by being on location not only to observe and report on these animals in-transit, but also to help extend the whale sighting network between Southern and Central California and Northern Washington.
Research of this top marine predator is important not only for the conservation of an endangered species, but for informing future risks to coastal human populations who share some of the same natural resources.