L120 Declared Deceased / Center for Whale Research Reporting

Monday, October 20, 2014.

Contact: Shari Tarantino, President – Board of Directors @ 216-630-5177 / orcaconservancy@gmail.com

Orca Conservancy regrets to inform you that seven week old L120 of the endangered population of Southern Resident Killer Whales has been declared deceased.

Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research said, “L86 was seen and photographed on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, all without L120.”

Screen shot 2014-09-08 at 10.23.19 PM

(photo credit: Center for Whale Research)

….Survivorship from near the time of birth to about 6 months of age was estimated to be about 60% through 1987 (estimated a few different ways, none of which were very precise, but all giving the same answer within a few percent).

Lactating females burn two-four times as many calories as other females. It’s hard to produce enough milk when food is hard to find, and it’s hard for a calf to survive when it does not get enough to eat.

Hood Canal used to be an important feeding area for SRKWs, but they lost interest in it while restoration was in progress. Fish runs are much stronger there now than they were 30 years ago but SRKWs haven’t rediscovered it.

In about 15 years, SRKWs should see benefits from the Elwha Dam removal. We hope we’ll still have enough of them left then that it will matter. We need to be doing a lot of additional restoration work to get population growth back in the 3%/yr neighborhood that we know is feasible.

About orcaconservancy

Orca Conservancy is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working on behalf of orcinus orca, the killer whale, and protecting the wild places on which it depends. Successful Petitioner and Litigant in historic U.S. District Court case to list Southern Resident orcas as "Endangered" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act -- the first-ever federal protection for the population. Leader in the Springer Project, the first-ever successful translocation and reintroduction of a wild killer whale, a rescue that captured the attention of the world.
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