Endangered Orca Pod Gets Ray of Hope in Birth of New Calf

Endangered Orca Pod Gets Ray of Hope in Birth of New Calf

Salish Sea, British Columbia – The Center for Whale Research, based in Washington State, has confirmed that the endangered orca pod, which is resident to these waters, has given birth to a new calf. The mother is believed to be J-16. The baby calf has been given the designation of J-50. It is believed the calf was born in the final days of 2014. This particular pod has seen its population dwindle in recent years. It now stands at 78.It is currently at its lowest level in decades. A senior scientists with the center said the calf was spotted near the Gulf Islands near the Swanson Channel.

The Vancouver Aquarium is more circumspect about the birth and will not factor in into the population until it has survived the one year mark. This is because of the high mortality rate among new born orcas. Due to deaths in the pod in recent years, the orcas must have four births a year in order for their population to recover. Research suggests they are heavily dependent on Chinook salmon which population has also been in decline. The lack of salmon is considered to be the reason for the starvation death of pregnant orca last month. All things considered, the recent birth is welcomed news.On the Web:
https://ca.news.yahoo.com/calf-born-endangered-southern-resident-045114386.html