Learn about whales and dolphins off Southern California


marine mammal species off Southern California – one of the most diverse populations of aquatic mammals in the world

Meet 10 fascinating whales and dolphins found off California! Learn cool facts, threats they’re facing, and explore some of the scientific insights Ocean Conservation Society staff has made about these charismatic animals during nearly 30 years of on-the-water research.

bottlenose dolphin illustration

Common Bottlenose Dolphin

Short-beaked Common Dolphin

short-beaked common dolphin illustration

Risso’s Dolphin

Killer Whale

Minke Whale

Gray Whale

Humpback Whale

Sperm Whale

Fin Whale

Blue Whale


Protect whales and dolphins now and for future generations


Here's how you can help

Learn Safe Observation

Learn how to safely observe whales, dolphins and other marine mammals - whether from a boat, surfboard or when kayaking or swimming.

Report Injuries or Harassment

Know who to contact if you encounter marine animals who are injured, in distress, or those being harassed by humans or boats.

Support Marine Research

OCS conducts one of the longest-running investigations on wild dolphins and whales existing worldwide. Learn more about research projects that help ensure the protection of these animals for generations to come.

Share Your Knowledge!

Ocean conservation starts with education. Share this page by copy/pasting its URL into your social media accounts to educate others about the magnificent marine mammals we share our planet with.

whale and dolphin species drawings © Massimo Demma / ICRAM / Muzzio