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Orca census: One death in January, but no births were reported until September

This year’s official census for the endangered killer whales that frequent Puget Sound will record one new orca death but no births from mid-2019 to mid-2020. Because the census accounts for the southern resident orca population as of July 1 each year, this year’s report will not include the much-welcomed birth of J57, born on …

Absent orcas: Most of the whales simply are not around to be counted at this time

UPDATE, JULY 3: Two new reports worth checking out: Center for Whale Research Encounter #31 Orca Network Whale Sighting Report, July 2 —– “So far, no new babies to report.” That’s the latest word from Ken Balcomb regarding the southern resident orcas, the three pods of endangered whales that once frequented Puget Sound but lately …

Missing orca named ‘Mega’ lived a long, productive life, says Ken Balcomb

A 43-year-old male orca named Mega, now missing and presumed dead, was one of the first new calves that researcher Ken Balcomb spotted when he began his extensive census of Southern Resident killer whales back in 1976. Ken didn’t know it at the time, but the baby orca — one of nine born in 1977 …