Featured Image Credit: Wikipedia
By: Sarah Sharkey
The southern resident whales off the coast of Vancouver Island have finally been spotted! After more than two months of no evidence of their presence, the J pod was spotted breaching in search for food off the coast of their usual home.
Mark Malleson, from the Center for Whale Research, spotted the whales west of Sheringham lighthouse in Port Renfrew. Researchers and photographers spotted then on September 4th and all of the whales seemed to be “frisky and in good condition.” Although some of the whales in the youngest generation contained a few runts, researchers think this was because it was a poor year for salmon. This lack of food put stress on the pregnant mothers and is the probable cause to these small whales.
This encounter is really exciting because the whales have been missing from their home in the San Juan Islands all summer. These whales are called “residents” because the whales have been spotted around the San Juan Islands almost daily for years. They were dubbed the “residents” by Mike Briggs back in the 1970s.
A possible reason that the whales have been missing is that the longtime matriarch “Granny” died last winter. Perhaps the whales just needed some time to recover from their loss?
Researchers think that J19 has taken over Granny’s place a reigning matriarch.
Learn more from our source.