The Center for Whale Research have a brand spanking new website with loads more information and photos.
They’re also offering annual memberships. I’ve just purchased mine!
Via; The Southern Resident Killer Whales who have passed on -
”A dead orca in an advanced state of decomposition was reported to DFO on Sunday, April 14, 2013. It was found near Carmanah Point, Vancouver Island. The sex could not be determined, and it will take DNA analysis to determine its population identity… please don’t be another Southern Resident orca :(”
New calf for the T124s!
No information yet who the mother is. T124 herself is probably too old - she had her last calf 14 years ago - so it probably belongs to her daughter (T124A) or her granddaughters (T124A1 or T124A2 (unknown sex)). The little one is swimming beside T124A2 on the pic.
Picture taken by NOAA.
Second new Transient calf in three days. They seem to be doing well at the moment.
A tribute I made to the most important whale I’ve ever known. Something that I didn’t mention during this video is that her older sister Yaka was stolen for captivity before she even had a chance to meet her. At least now they can reunite with their mum in whale heaven!
Submitted by Mary.
Jeff Friedman, who was speaking at the American Cetacean Society 2012 Conference at the weekend, Tweeted some news about the levels of PCB’s in harbor seals dropping.
Harbor seals are the main source of prey for the transient orcas that live around British Columbia.
Kiska, the killer whale, swims alone in her pool at Marineland, often followed by a trail of her own blood.
Her tail has been bleeding off and on since July but has been getting progressively worse, according to Christine Santos, who has been one of Kiska’s primary trainers. She described the bleeding as “gushing” last week.
Treating her is difficult because Kiska, about 37, has refused to go into the medical pool for the past month. Her behaviour has been “breaking down for some time,” said Santos. She won’t even present her tail for blood samples.
Read more here
From Brittany Bowles who works at the Whale Museum here on San Juan Island-
“We are working to create profiles for the whales featured in this year’s “Day of the Dead Celebration.” The event will be held by The Whale Museum on November 2nd to remember stories of Whales who have gone. And we want to hear from you! Do you have any stories you’d like to share about a whale from the Southern Resident community that has passed away? Did you adopt someone who is no longer with us (old adoption profiles are particularly valuable)? Maybe you have photos or video of them? I want to hear it all. You can contact me by email at email@example.com. This year’s honorees will include Raggedy K40, Olympia L32, Riptide J30, Leo L44, and more! We look forward to hearing from you!”
G’s, A’s and I pods.
The team from OrcaLab are trying to rescue an injured bald eagle that is right next to the webcam. Tune in to watch.
EDIT - “The eagle was swimming, trying to make it to shore but got swept away in the current. Larry Roy rescued him in his boat & brought him to shore at CP. where he is drying his wings out. He has stopped shivering, and is warming up, so will hopefully be ok”, - Paul Spong
“Individuals play various roles in maintaining social integrity of mammalian populations. However, many models developed for managing wildlife resources assume that all individuals are equal. Killer whales are social animals that rely on relationships within and among family groups for survival. In the northeastern Pacific, fish-eating, ‘resident’ killer whale populations are composed of matrilines from which offspring do not disperse. We analysed the influence of various individuals’ age, sex and matrilineal affiliation on their position in a social network. Here, we show that some matrilines appeared to play more central roles than others in the network. Furthermore, juvenile whales, especially females, appeared to play a central role in maintaining network cohesion. These two key findings were supported subsequently by simulating removal of different individuals. The network was robust to random removals; however, simulations that mimicked historic live-captures from the northeastern Pacific were likely to break the network graph into isolated groups. This finding raises concern regarding targeted takes, such as live-capture or drive fisheries, of matrilineal cetaceans”.
This is why catching killer whales from the wild doesn’t work!. Every individual is a much needed member with an important role in the community. Removing animals will cause harm to the population for many years afterward.
Source - The study ‘A killer whale social network is vulnerable to targeted removals’ by Rob Williams and David Lusseau, 2012
Orcas laugh! It’s an universal call that is found in all pacific orcas, independently of their culture or ecotype. It’s also called an “excitement call” and has been identified in residents (Southern Residents, Northern Residents, russian orcas), transients in the Bering Sea and offshores. Note that the link below is in German. To hear the orcas laugh, click at the middle image (the jumping orca). For more information, check the links I posted below.
Another flyer for Cetus fund raising events. Please attend if you can and share these posters around, thanks.
Can you help us protect the Southern Residents?
The Cetus Research Society are based in Victoria, BC and do killer whale conservation. They work to facilitate the conservation of the marine environment through our Straitwatch and Robson B