Monday July 24, 2023

Public News Service

There’s good news for orcas off Washington’s coast: Two new calves have been spotted among the endangered population. However, the births also punctuate the whales’ dire situation.

Earlier this month, the Center for Whale Research confirmed the birth of two calves in the L-pod of the Southern Resident killer whales. They are the first additions to the L-pod in two years.

John Rosapepe, Pacific Northwest representative for the Endangered Species Coalition, said the whales are still under threat, lacking food primarily because of four salmon-blocking dams in eastern Washington.

“Removing the dams and restoring the salmon on the lower Snake River is central in recovering the Southern Resident killer whale population,” Rosapepe asserted.

Rosapepe pointed out nearly a dozen Southern Resident orcas are malnourished, including one pregnant whale. The addition of two calves increases the number frequenting the Salish Sea from 73 to 75.

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