8th Local orca to go missingBy lgordon | February 27th, 2009 | Category: Blog, Science |
By Puget Sound reporter Lyndsay Gordon
L-57, named Faith, was recently publicly announced as missing and he has been missing since Fall 2008. This is the first stretch of time that Faith has not been sighted with his family, the L pod. Orca’s are declared missing when researchers don’t observe them when their family groups are sighted, but they are not declared deceased until twelve months, or at least several sightings, later. This is a scientific definition, but the presumption is that Faith’s absence is a result of his death.
Faith is the 8th local orca to go missing within the last twelve months, which again is the first downward trend in their population since the turn of the century when the local orcas lost 15 animals. Faith was a thirty three year old male that usually put on quite the show for spectators. This means his loss is the loss of yet another male that is of reproductive age. All three of the local pods are largely missing an entire generation of reproductive males, thought to be the result of the inability of young males to offload the toxics, such PCBs, building up in their system. The loss of Faith biologically is huge to the local orcas, but it his also a large loss to the whale watching industry as he was a personality.
Meet the Whales - Profile and Saddle Patch Pictures for all local pods.
Center for Whale Research
Contact: Lyndsay Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org