Have You Seen Any of These?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Humpbacks, Orca and Sea Turtle

More Humpback Whale reports from Mexico this time, another favourite wintering spot for them. We have identified a few that spend their winters in either Mexico or Hawaii and summers in the Johnstone Strait area.

Also in the news is the necropsy of the 3 year old Southern Resident Orca Whale L112 found dead near Long Beach in Washington State on Feb. 11. See more information below. It's always sad when a whale dies and we can only hope that there will be some definitive information that can be acted upon coming out of the necropsy results. More links and information below including yet another Sea Turtle in BC waters.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

Transient Orca

February 11: (Possibly the same Orca seen February 14 by Powell River – SM)
Tracey and Ian Cobane, who were staying at the beach cabin at Bold Buff today, saw a group of about 9 Orcas swimming south in Sansum Narrows (Salt Spring Islands, BC) about 11 am this morning. They returned, swimming North about 3 pm. Ian thought there were 3 big males, and a few babies, splashing and jumping (feeding? Playing?) Tamar Griggs, Bold Bluff submitted by: Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA

Orca by Texada Island
February 14, 2012
Photo: Susan MacKay

Humpback Whales

February 14:
We saw whales breaching at a distance here in Mexico, too. I assume they were humpbacks. Way too Far out to get pictures but saw 2 blowing and breaching for about 10 minutes

Southern Resident Orca

A 3-year old female L pod juvenile, L112, was found dead near Long Beach, WA on Saturday, February 11. She died of "significant trauma" and had been dead about three days when found, according the initial necropsy report.

So far no cause of death has been determined, but injuries from military sonars have been suggested, and as readers of the February 8 sightings report saw, Canadian navy exercises practiced using sonars in Haro Strait around 5 am on February 6, as part of a multi-vessel training exercise from February 5 to February 18. In addition, NOAA has permitted US naval training along the Washington coast, involving explosive munitions in addition to sonar training. A few weeks ago a group of conservationists and American Indian tribes sued the National Marine Fisheries Service to curtail the Navy's expanded training exercises in whale habitat.

Further examination will hopefully find the cause of L112's untimely demise. If sonars or explosive ordnance is found to have killed her, concerns have been raised about her mother L86, her brother L106, and other L pod members who also may have been impacted.
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA

More Links in the News
Sea Turtle, Dolphins, Grey Whales plus more

Here are some more interesting links submitted by Lisa Spaven of the Marine Mammal Response Network – remember if you see any injured, distressed or dead marine mammals please call the incident reporting hotline at 1-800-465-4336:

A 4th sea turtle found in Pacific Rim National Park (this one another green turtle and already dead)

And sad news from of a killer whale death...L112 found dead on Long Beach WA Saturday. Preliminary necropsy results (see link above) suggest unknown source of trauma to head. (These links are original news reports - SM)

Legal news: Court compels Ottawa to protect Killer Whale habitat

Dolphin stranding video: International Fund for Animal Welfare video compilation of dolphin mass stranding efforts in Cape Cod this past month

The coolness and vulnerability of the sperm whale:

True story of the rescue of 3 ice stranded grey whales (aka Big Miracle movie)

2012 Charter Cruises
Enjoy a personalized week long Charter Cruise in the pristine wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest. Information can be found on the 2012 Charter Cruises pages of Whales and Dolphins BC.