News Room

Killer whale baby boom: 4th calf spotted near Tofino

Jun 02. 15

By CBC News

Whale watchers on Canada's West Coast are celebrating the confirmed sighting of a fourth killer whale calf born to the endangered southern resident population this year.

The calf, named L-121, was spotted on June 1 with L-Pod near Cox Beach south of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The sighting was welcome news, because L-Pod lost one calf and a three-year-old female in recent years, and L-121, which was first spotted in February, wasn't seen the last time the pod was observed off the coast of Oregon by NOAA Fisheries scientists.

Marcie Callewaert, a naturalist with the Victoria Marine Science Association said she spent a couple of hours with the pod on Monday.

"L-121 was present and as energetic as ever," said Callewaert in a statement from the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

Hope for a recovery

After years of population decline, the recent sighting combined with three other calves born to J-Pod this spring, puts the population of wild southern resident orcas at 81.

             -Newborn orca J50 spotted swimming in Puget Sound​

             ​-New orca calf born to endangered southern resident pod

"We're thrilled of course," said Michael Harris, the executive director of the PWWA — which represents 32 operators in Washington and British Columbia — in the statement.

"Many of us had concerns about this little whale, not just because of the problems L-Pod has had in recent years, but generally the odds baby orcas have out there.

"We always remind people that wild killer whales have a 50 per cent mortality rate — half don't make it through their first year. And just in its first few months in life, this baby had a lot of big water to battle."

"I'm one of those who think that the southerns have finally turned the corner. We've got a real chance of bringing these whales back. And hey, maybe — if that baby whale can make it, this population can."


Read original story here...

Photo: Southern resident orca (Isabelle Groc)

Latest News

Biologically diverse BC to benefit from pledge for endangered-species law

Jul 25. 17

As Canada’s “most biologically rich province,” B.C. stands to benefit hugely from a long-awaited provincial government commitment to create a species-at-risk law, a senior official with the David Suzuki Foundation said Tuesday.

Keep Reading...

BC Premier John Horgan delivers mandate duties to cabinet ministers

Jul 24. 17

Environment Minister George Heyman’s mandate letter stated that he has been tasked with enacting an endangered species law and working to defend British Columbia’s interests in the face of the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Keep Reading...

Recent Press Releases

Govt Documents Reveal Huge Support For South Okanagan National Park

Sep 08. 16

BC government documents obtained by the Wilderness Committee reveal huge public support for a South Okanagan National Park

Keep Reading...

Environmental groups head to court over pollinator-killing pesticides

Jul 06. 16

TORONTO — Environmental groups are headed to court in a bid to protect pollinators from a harmful class of pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been linked to mass bee die-offs and declining pollinator populations.

Keep Reading...

Media By Month