New research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggests that female orcas are most thrown off from foraging when boats and vessels intrude closer than 400 yards. NOAA declared the southern resident orcas in 2015 a Species in the Spotlight, an initiative to bring more attention to the most endangered marine species in the U.S. These latest findings are expected to help the agency align its guidelines for whale watching with rules already in place in British Columbia and the state of Washington to be more protective of southern resident mother orcas and their calves. The reason why females are more vulnerable to disturbances is not known though, females are known to share their prey, usually at the surface. Noise by vessels or the presence of even kayaks at the surface where the orcas need to come up to breathe and to share prey all can hinder crucial prey capture and sharing. The effect is most concerning in pregnant and nursing mother orcas, whose nutritional needs are greatest.