General Info:

  • False Killer Whales are a type of dolphin
  • They got their name because their skulls and teeth were similar to Orcas, thus they were named “false killer whales”
  • All dolphins and whales are Cetaceans.  There are currently about 89 living species of Cetaceans, broken into two groups: Odonteceti and Baleen
  • False Killer Whales are Odontoceti, or “toothed whales.”  Other species that fall in this category are Orcas, dolphins, porpoises, beluga whales, narwhals, sperm whales, and beaked whales.
  • Unfortunately, False Killer Whales have a history of beaching themselves; the largest mass stranding occurred in 1946 in Argentina and involved 835 individuals.

Current Statistics:

  • There is no accurate count of the worldwide numbers for False Killer Whales, but the entire species is listed as near threatened on the IUCN list.
  • False Killer Whales are found around the world, but there are only three subspecies in Hawaii.
  • False Killer Whales are particularly susceptible to entanglement from fishing lines.
  • Between 1989 and 2009, the subspecies in Hawaii declined by more than 75%.
  • The insular population around the main Hawaiian islands has fewer than 200 individuals.
  • Of the 200 left, very few females are capable of breeding.
  • In 2012, this population of False Killer Whales was declared Endangered under the Endangered Species Act.