Thursday, October 09, 2008

BC's Southern Resident Orcas Starving

The local population of killer whales might be starving to death. According to this Victoria Times-Colonist report, members of the three local pods of orcas are showing obvious signs of starvation. Salmon runs are down again this year, and orcas are desperately trying to find food. That desperation is forcing them in to unusual behaviour patterns. "A small group from L Pod have been traveling with J Pod all summer long, and twice J Pod has split into two completely separate groups, out of acoustic range from each other," said a researcher. "It's an indication that they are searching high and low and in every nook and cranny for fish."
This may explain why today eight leading environmental groups have launched a legal action against the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. They allege that the DFO ignored a September 10 order to protect the whales under the federal government's Species at Risk Act. The DFO helps to enforce the Act, which protects species considered at risk.
There are about 87 southern resident whales in British Columbia waters and they are considered endangered.

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