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Orca Action Month save the date - June 2020

Orca Action Month goes online!

Whamily, it’s almost that time again – time to celebrate, honor, and dive in to...
Success! Icelandic minke whale hunts end after years of WDC campaigning

Success! Icelandic minke whale hunts end after years of WDC campaigning

Following on from the news that Iceland’s fin whaling vessels will not be leaving port...
CW working from home

Supporting Our Supporters as We Work to Protect Whales and Dolphins

WDC-NA staff's new "offices" Working remotely is definitely an adjustment but I also know me...
Positive whaling news emerges from Iceland

Positive whaling news emerges from Iceland

News is emerging from Iceland that the company behind Iceland’s fin whale hunts, Hvalur hf,...
Newer sonar technology still a threat to whales

Newer sonar technology still a threat to whales

A study into the effects of newer underwater sonar technology has revealed that it is...
Solitary captive dolphin Honey dies

Solitary captive dolphin Honey dies

Dolphin Project reports state that a bottlenose dolphin named Honey has died at the Inubosaki...
SeaWorld CEO parts company with captivity giant

SeaWorld CEO parts company with captivity giant

SeaWorld has parted with another CEO. Sergio Rivera was the theme park giant’s chief executive...
Dolphins sync when they work together

Dolphins sync when they work together

A new study has shown male bottlenose dolphins synchronise their physical and verbal actions when...

Southern Resident orca population is missing two members

We are saddened to learn that two members of the Southern Resident orca population in the Pacific Northwest are unaccounted for this year and are presumed dead.  Two members of L pod, Lulu and Indigo, have not been seen with their families this summer.  The annual census of this population, which started in the mid-70’s, has been able to get a complete head count of Southern Residents every year due to their small population size and proximity to a heavily populated coastal area in the summer. 

Southern Residents are highly social and form very close family groups, with both males and females staying with their mother their entire lives.  This population ranges as far south as central California during the winter months but returns to the inland waters of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands every summer.  Large salmon runs this year have kept the orcas close to San Juan Island in Haro Strait, one of their favorite feeding grounds. 

 Orcas are threatened by declining numbers of their favorite food, Chinook salmon; by toxins like DDT in the water, which accumulate up the food chain until they stops at orcas, a top level predator; and by increasing amounts of vessel traffic and noise in the ocean.  The Southern Resident population suffered a sharp decline in the late 1990’s when Chinook salmon levels crashed.  L pod, the largest of the three Southern Resident pods, has continued to decline since then, while J & K pods have seen slight increases.  Last year, two more members of L pod, Grace and Baba, were missing and have not been seen since.

 The loss of 4 members of L pod over the past 2 years brings the population total to only 78 members, the lowest it has been in almost 20 years.  Unfortunately, because whales die at sea and their bodies are rarely found, we will likely never know what happened to them.  But we can increase conservation efforts to protect their habitat and their prey, and try to get that population number going back up.