The Killer Whales Australia (KWA) publication is the result of hundreds of hours of scrutinising 3,332 images from 139 sightings and analysis of data that has been collected over a 32 year period. East Australian killer whales are highly transient, making them an incredibly difficult species to study. One of the individual orcas catalogued is EA_12 aka “Groovey”, a regular to the Montague Island area where she and her pod have been observed hunting sharks. First photographed in 2006 it’s the farthest north so far she has been sighted, the damage to her back was likely caused by a boat strike. The catalogue itself contains 63 individual killer whales from two ecotypes being type A and C -distinguished by their characteristic eye patches. Type A killer whales are the most frequently sighted along the eastern seaboard with type Cs being very occasional visitors who travel up from Antarctic waters.
KWA relies almost exclusively on accepting sightings information and images from fellow researchers as well as using a Citizen Science approach. The network includes charter operators, the fishing community, wildlife management groups, maritime organisations and the general public.