Killer whales are a keystone species. Let us make sure they are protected.

Southern Resident killer whales are vital to the health of our oceans, and an invaluable part of our cultures.

But unless we act now, we risk losing this genetically and culturally distinct population of orcas forever.

In the Salish Sea — a region that includes the Juan de Fuca Strait, Georgia Strait, and Puget Sound — Southern Resident killer whales face a deluge of threats to their survival. Stocks of Chinook salmon, their preferred food source, are dwindling. And physical and acoustic disturbance, caused by vessel traffic, further limit their ability to communicate with each other and hunt for food.

On behalf of five other organizations — Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Georgia Strait Alliance, David Suzuki Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, and Natural Resources Defense Council — we called on Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic LeBlanc and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna to respond to this crisis by recommending an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act.

Now, it is your turn. Send a letter to Minister LeBlanc and Minister McKenna, asking them to take steps to protect Southern Resident killer whales.

We know that emergency orders can be a lifeline for a species in crisis. In 2012, we went to court to secure Canada’s first-ever emergency order for the greater sage-grouse. Since then, populations of this prairie-dwelling bird have grown exponentially.

We hope that another emergency order could help restore the Southern Resident killer whale population – which is now down to a perilous 76 members.

Southern Resident killer whales are in crisis. In such a small population, every mortality is significant.

Plainly speaking, we need to act now if we want to save these incredible animals.

Please, send your letter to the Ministers today.