More on the transients: a record year for sightings in the Puget Sound region (Washington State, USA)!
"We were amazed this summer when we photographed an adult male we didn't recognise and after some searching realised he had last been seen in 1994!" ~ Icelandic Orcas. Read the rest of the blog here:
From orca researcher Erich Hoyt: Russian quota has been issued for ten more orca captures:
A new scientific paper has been released: Phylogenomics of the killer whale indicates ecotype divergence in sympatry (via Marion Island Killer Whales)
Sad news for the Southern resident orca population: two members of this community have been announced by the Center for Whale Research as missing and are presumed deceased. This brings the total population number down to just 78 individuals. No newborns have been seen since August 2012 (via Orca Network).
"We're saddened to report that the Center for Whale Research has announced that two Southern Resident orcas, L53 Lulu and L100 Indigo, have not been seen with their families in 2014 and are presumed deceased. 37-year-old female L53 lost her mother, L7, in 2010, and had no siblings. L100, a 13-year-old male, was born to L54 Ino and had two siblings, L108, an 8-year-old brother, and L117, born in 2010, gender still unknown. This brings the Southern Residents' overall population down to 78, the same number that led to their listing as endangered under the ESA. No newborns have been seen since August, 2012."
Coastal California transient orca sighted in British Columbia waters: an identification guide from Josh McInnes, Alisa Schulman-Janiger, Richard Ternullo & Bernardo Alps.
Via The Transient Killer Whale Research Project:
"It is often difficult to ID killer whales. The elusive nature of transients compared to residents makes it hard for even the most experienced naturalist. I have been fortunate enough to encounter rare coastal transients in British Columbia waters. These transients often spend their time off the coastlines of California, Oregon, and Washington States.
Much is still unknown about their ecology and association between communities, as this behaviour is rarely witnessed.
Many people have requested a simple identification guide. Myself, Alisa Schulman-Janiger, Richard Ternullo, and Bernardo Alps collaboratively prepared a simple ID chart for coastal transients sighted in BC waters.
For sightings reports please email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Josh McInnes"
A profile for the orca sighted in waters around Sri Lanka, as well as those researching the orca, are now featured in Orca of the World. To find out more about these individuals, visit OPSL Orca Project Sri Lanka.
Mackay Whale Watching report that a young orca, caught in gill net yesterday off the coast of Vancouver Island in Canada, was successfully freed by fishermen. Read below for more information.
"What a stressful morning!! Young I 103 from the I 15's got caught in a gill net near Port Hardy. We monitored close by ready to assist. The young whale went under water covered in net for around 12 minutes. At the 4 minute mark the whole family I4, I 5 and their offspring dove down and stayed with it under water. The fisherman was quick thinking and pulled the net in reeling up 103. She was caught on her tail the rest of the net had been cut free possibly by her family when they were all under water. The fisherman was able to cut her loose and when she was freed she swam straight to her family. They took off towards Malcolm Island where thankfully research vessels were able to keep an eye on them to make sure she was ok. A very rare event that I have never seen. We were all happy to see her swim away it was something I personally never want to witness again. Many thanks to the fisherman for freeing her and saving her life."
Here's an article with more information about the young orca:
There is a beautiful new orca calf in the Strait of Gibraltar - for photos, visit Turmares Tarifa.
A great analysis of SeaWorld's proposed tank expansion plans from former-SeaWorld trainer Jeffrey Ventre: