The expansion of industrialization and the reckless behaviors of humans has lead to the rapid decline of our planet’s natural habitats and the species who call them home. In fact, human activity has caused such a drastic drop in species, scientists have warned we are in the midst of the sixth massive extinction of species worldwide that will ultimately lead to the collapse of civilization as we know it.

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Southern Resident Orcas, who call the Pacific Northwest home, are one of the endangered species facing extinction due to disruption in their lives and diets caused by people. A petition on Care2 written by the animal protection organization, Defenders of Wildlife, describes the many reasons why Southern Resident Orcas are facing extinction. One, the Chinook Salmon that typically make up 80 percent of the orcas’ diet, are also endangered due to their migratory paths being blocked by dams, making food sources for the orca scarce and causing them to starve to death. Additionally, water pollution is poisoning marine wildlife and noise pollution interferes with the whales’ communication that they rely on to survive.

Defenders of Wildlife is calling on Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to make some significant changes in legislation in order to protect these magnificent animals from extinction. The petition letter calls for ambitious measures, stating, “The Department of Commerce and the National Marine Fisheries Service must take proactive steps to clean up derelict and abandoned ships that ooze toxic pollutants into the water and to enforce the ‘rules of the road’ for boat traffic to minimize harmful encounters between orcas and vessels. They must aid in the fight to remove outdated dams along salmon migration routes and to increase and restore vital salmon habitat so that orcas will have plenty of healthy salmon to eat. They must also finalize proposals that would expand critical habitat on the west coast all the way down to Monterey Bay.”

Please take a moment to sign this petition in support of saving these glorious animals from extinction.

And please remember to share this with your family and friends to spread awareness of this incredibly serious issue.

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Image Source: Andrew Reding/Flickr