The number of orca whales along British Columbia’s coast is on the downswing, prompting Canada to place the animal on its threatened species list. The orcas are suffering from declining stocks of salmon, an important food source, and potentially from whale-watchers, who sometimes follow the whales in groups of up to 100 boats. But because Canada has no federal endangered species law, it is unclear how the at-risk designation will help solve the orcas’ troubles. Canadian Environment Minister Christine Stewart has said she plans to introduce legislation this spring that would expand recovery plans to help protect threatened species.

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