Surf, Cameleon and Albion.
A4, traveling with his sprouting grand-nephew Skeena(A13), the son of Yakat(A11).
Scanned from “Killer Whales: The Natural History and Genealogy of Orcinus Orca in British Columbia and Washington State” 1st ed., by Michael Bigg, John K.B. Ford, Graeme M. Ellis, and Kenneth C. Balcomb
Kelsey, the matriarch, in the front followed by Schooner(A64) and Magin(A71) with 2-year old Toba(A78) still below the surface.
Thank you for the update on Nahwitti, I'd been wondering about her status. How's Springer holding up? Last I heard of her, she was traveling with the A35s.
You’re more than welcome! :) If you have any other orcas you would like to know about, I can always do my best to update you where possible.
Springer is doing absolutely fine. She’s a fantastic first time mother and Spirit (her son/daughter) appears plump, happy and healthy. Springer tends to float between matrilines but ordinarily, she travels with the A24s. :)
are there any current major threats to the northern resident populations?
At present, there is nothing of major concern luckily.
It seems that food is abundant and it doesn’t appear that noise pollution is an issue either. When those situations were issues in the past, the residents temporarily moved away but as they are still returning to the strait, they are probably fine.
The beautiful thing about orcas is that they are apex predators meaning that ocean predation can and will never be of any threat to them.
There was an incident very recently in which 11 year old I103 became entangled in a fishing net. This did cause great concern for his/her family but the young orca was freed ever so quickly. He/she seems absolutely fine now so I don’t suppose it was an issue.
Back in the day, the top two biggest concerns were live capture and boat collision. Since live captures are no longer legal in the area, they are safe for now. It also seems that boats are more careful these days. Considering the amount of living residents who have been hit by boats in the past, it does seem as though this is no longer a threat.
TLDR; no, there is no current major threat. :)
Concerns For Nahwitti
It’s always difficult for orcas to deal with death. Like humans, orcas are extremely family orientated animals who spend their entire lives by their mother’s side. So for Nahwitti, it was quite a nasty blow losing her mother Yakat in 2012.
However, this year she lost her only calf- 4 year old Kalect (pictured above). Nahwitti is taking this quite badly and has distanced herself from not only her matriline but her pod.
Luckily, Holly of the A42s has taken Nahwitti under her fin. The pair have been inseparable over the summer and Holly seems to be behaving very maternally toward the 24 year old female. The situation is unusual as Nahwitti’s older sister Skagit is still very much alive.
It seems that whilst Nahwitti has been dealing with a lot of loss, the support system around her is strong. Let’s hope that she can come through her sorrow and perhaps even bring another calf into the world!
My thoughts are with Nahwitti at this unpleasant time.