The first calf born in three years to endangered orcas in Pacific Northwest waters has died on Tuesday – the most recent disturbing sign of a population that has been on the planet for more than three decades lowest level is.
A dead orca was brought to the surface by her mother about half an hour after her living donation, said Ken Balcomb, senior scientist at San Juan Island's Center for Whale Research, who closely monitors each whale.
The mother saw her resting the baby on her forehead, trying to keep it close to the water's surface in the waters off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia.
"The baby was so newborn that it did not have bacon" It continued to sink, and the mother raised it to the surface, "he said Wednesday.
Death represents another reproductive failure for the salmon-eating southern killer whale Watering in Puget Sound Water from Spring to Autumn [1
Female orcas have pregnancy problems due to nutritional stress associated with a lack of salmon. A multi-year study by the University of Washington and other researchers found that two-thirds of pregnancies in orca s failed between 2007 and 2014.
About half of the 11 calves that were born a few years ago during a celebrated baby boom have died
"On average, we expect some calves to be born every year – the fact that we have not seen any for years and then failed reproductively, is further evidence that we have a serious reproductive problem with the population, "said Brad Hanson, a wildlife biologist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.
Worrying is the health of a 4-year-old Orca woman named J-50.
Hanson said she looked thin and "noticeably emaciated" as he and others watched from a boat on Saturday near the island of San Juan while collecting breath samples from the whale.
The respiratory droplets are examined for possible pathogens. It could be that the animal starves to death or another disease process causes them not to eat, said Hanson.
Another researcher, Deborah Giles, who was studying the whales, had alerted Hanson to a foul smell of Orca's breath, a smell discovered by other orcas that later died. But the whale did not smell so bad on Saturday.
We are saddened to report that a baby Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) died shortly after birth on July 24, 2018 near Victoria, British Columbia, where Wal was reported alive and swam with his mother J35. .. https://t.co/ql0kDBU9LL pic.twitter.com/GQteYuPsv4
– Whale Research (@CWROrcas) July 26, 2018
"She could change the shape of her skull through her bacon see, "said Giles, a biologist at the UW Center for Conservation Biology. "I've never seen such an emaciated animal make it, but I hope it comes back."
Several groups said Wednesday that the loss of the calf underscores the need for swift action.
Washington Gov In March, Jay Inslee signed a decree ordering the state authorities to take immediate action to help the orcas. A national working group he has formed meets since May to formulate recommendations. A report will be due later this year.
Since then, an adult male orca has been missing in June and is considered dead. There are now only 75 of the orcas, from 98 in 1995.
"The death of the orca calf is a heartbreaking reminder of the urgency of having Governor Spokesman Jaime Smith wrote in an e-mail
The Task Force is considering a range of efforts, from increasing hatchery production from salmon, to training private boats, to tackling oil spills, and the Prioritization of areas where vital habitats can be restored.
But Balcomb and others say more aggressive action is needed. They demanded the removal of four dams on the Lower Snake River to restore the salmon runs. "We have to deal with the issue of salmon restauration, especially wild salmon," Balcomb said.
The orcas are different from other killer whales because they eat salmon and not marine mammals. Individual whales are also identified by unique markings or variations in their fin forms, and each whale is given a number and a name. Their movements are closely followed and photographed by researchers, whale watchers and fans.
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