Killer whales are one of the most important marine mammals on the West Coast and many people want to remove the dams that kill the whales. They are now starving to death because they don’t have enough food supplies.
This Friday, in Seattle there was a ceremony and biologists made an announcement that said 2 more killer whales have died. These whales are divided into groups. The whales that have died are from the J pod and now the J-Pod has only 26 specimens left.
The 2 animals that died this month were affected by the fact that there aren’t enough Chinook salmons in the water and they didn’t have anything to eat. The Chinook salmon is now rarely found in those waters because people have constructed dams on the natural habitat of the salmon.
Whale advocates mentioned the deaths of the 2 mammals. The first one was a female J-28 that was 13 years old and its calf that was born last year J-54. Before they died both killer whales were under observation and they showed signs of weakness.
2 months ago another J pod killer whale went missing. This female had 42 years and was known as J-14. After these deaths, the members of the j Pod are only 26 and all of them showed concerning signs of starvation.
The Southern Residents have 2 other groups the L and K pods. These groups are doing any better, on the contrary, with 35 and 19 members are showing signs of starvation too. The 3 groups of killer whales are related but have a distant range and dialect which makes them unique.
The ones that are the most affected by the lack of Chinooks are calves and mothers. The calves need to eat a lot more than a normal adult in order to grow. Mothers lose a lot of calories while they are lactating and they need more food as well. This is why they are affected by starvation.
The J pod killer whales are still the ones that are more at risk because they prefer to stay in the Salish Sea which is surrounded by 4 dams. The removal of these 4 dams is up for discussion. Let’s hope that they find a way to save the remaining killer whales.
Image source: Pixabay