Tuesday, December 06, 2016
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
By: Quinn Read
More at: http://www.defendersblog.org/2016/11/can-save-southern-resident-orcas/
© Art MacKay 2016
Facing toxic pollution and an alarming food shortage, Southern Resident orcas are on a steep decline. But removing several dams could be the key to saving them.When I was a little girl, my family went camping in the San Juan Islands. I slept out in the open, curled up in my sleeping bag, close enough to the water’s edge to hear the waves lapping up against the shore. When I woke, my face was covered in angry, red mosquito bites. I sat up and wiped the sleep out of my eyes, and that’s when I saw the line of sleek black and white bodies surfacing in the distance. It was one of the Puget Sound’s pods of Southern Resident Orcas. I temporarily forgot all about my very itchy face. I watched their tall dorsal fins carve a path through the water, and even then, I knew how lucky I was to see them.
That was 1992, and the population of Southern Resident Orcas hovered at around 90. That was also the year that J28 was born into the family of orcas known as J pod. She was one of six calves born into the Southern Resident population that year, and by all accounts, was a healthy and thriving youngster. When she was nine years old, she turned up with an obvious nick in her dorsal fin that made her easy to identify for scientists and excited whale watchers. She gave birth to her first calf, her daughter J46, in 2009. And she gave birth to her second live-born calf, her son J54, at the very end of 2015.
Unfortunately, J28 never quite recovered from complications after J54’s birth. This summer, she was visibly malnourished. And on October 28th, the Center for Whale Research confirmed her death. That left the survival of ten-month old J54, who was still nursing, very much in question. In the wake of his mother’s death, J54’s family did everything they could do give him a fighting chance. His older sister offered him salmon and repeatedly shoved him to the surface to breathe. A heartbreaking photo of his scored and scratched dorsal fin shows the results of his family’s attempts to hold onto him. But it wasn’t enough, and now J54 is gone too.
Today, with the tragic deaths of J28 and J54, there are just 80 of these incredible creatures left. What’s going on here? Why was this otherwise healthy orca unable to recover from birth complications? And why has this population continued to decline since my childhood encounter — despite being federally listed as endangered, and despite the development of recovery plans to try and save them?
Pollution and Food Shortage a Double Hit to Southern Residents
Friday, November 25, 2016
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Humpback Whale and Marine Mammal Field Techniques Programs in Puerto Rico, USA.
Registration now open for the 7th season with The Marine and Coastal Ecology Research Center. Programs for winter 2017 are being subsidized by MCERC resulting in a reduced registration fee for these field intensive programs.
Humpback Whale Field Intensive Program (January through April 2017- week long sessions) $900USD
Marine Mammal Field Techniques Program (January 2017 – single week long session) $900USD
Marine Mammal Field Techniques Program (including Open Water Diving Certification)
(January 2017; single 10 day session) $1825USD
(January 2017; single 10 day session) $1825USD
Spaces are very limited to 6 participants for the Marine Mammal Field Techniques and Humpback Whale Field Intensive (per session). The Marine Mammal Field Techniques with SUBA certification has 8 spots available as of this posting. If Spring Break week is important to you, please plan to register as soon as possible.
The MCERC field station in Puerto Rico, USA houses all program participants while we focus on building field skills and resumes for anybody interested in marine mammal science. These positions are also suitable for internships, and many of our students receive up to 3 undergraduate credit hours through independent study with a faculty member from their campus.
The program fee covers room and meals for the week long session, instruction, transportation to all field excursions, and equipment necessary for the program (SCUBA certification requires minimal, personal equipment provided by students). There is no cost associated with participating in data collection during the Humpback Whale Field Intensive program. During this program, students are critical members of our data collection team.
The program fee does not include travel to and from Boquerón, Puerto Rico, USA. Citizens of the USA do not need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico (at this time), the currency is the US Dollar, and most major cell phone carriers have service on the island.
There is no application process required. Interested people should visit the websites below to learn more details about the programs, then request passcodes to the Education Hub to register by emailing Nicole.MCERC@gmail.com or MCERC.email@example.com.
Education Hub www.Marine-Eco.org/mcerc-moodle
Photo Gallery www.Marine-Eco.jimdo.com
Marine and Coastal Ecology Research Center Inc.
Spring Hill, Florida
Research station: Boqueron, Puerto Rico, USA
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016