Hawaiian Island Cetaceans

False Killer Whale

Scientific Name - Pseudorca crassidens

Average Length - Male: 6m, Female: 5m

Photo Credit: © Robin W. Baird/Cascadia Research Collective


The False Killer Whale is also known as the Pseudorca.  They are the least abundant of the toothed whale/dolphin species found in Hawaiian waters.  There are three, demographically-independent populations of False Killer Whales in Hawaiian waters.  In total the number of animals is estimated at 1400 whales, however the main Hawaiian Islands population numbers only 150 animals.  Because of the small populations size and population decline in recent decades the main Hawaiian Islands population has been listed as endangered.  They are also slow to reproduce, having a calf only every 6-7 years, and do not start reproducing until their teens.  Biggest threats to these animals comes from commercial fishing via competition for target prey species, and environmental contaminants such as pesticides and industrial chemicals.

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