How Many Endangered Orca Remain? 77 and 3 New-Borns. Still Dangerously Low.
According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, “the population [of Puget Sound’s endangered Orca] now totals 80, still dangerously low.” While the birth of three new Orca is a hopeful sign, one new-born Orca this past year did not survive, and another died un-born with its mother in November (the loss of a pregnant breeding female is doubly devastating). Even if the three new-borns all survive, this is only a small step in the much longer process of J, K, and L pods recovering fully. We should not make the same mistake too-often made in fisheries management, when one good recruitment year lulls managers into reductions in stock protections. A Whale Protection Zone is needed even more for these younger whales to survive and thrive.