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Mindful conservation – why we need a new respect for nature

'We should look at whales and dolphins as the indigenous people of the seas -...
tins of whale meat

How Japan’s whaling industry is trying to convince people to eat whales

Japan's hunters kill hundreds of whales every year despite the fact that hardly anyone in...
Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

Did you know dolphins have personalities?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
Microplastics on beach

Blue whales and the menace of microplastics – how we’ll solve this problem

Our love affair with plastic began in the 1950s when it revolutionised manufacturing. But what...
A dolphin called Arnie with his shell.

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...

New baby for the Southern Residents!

There’s a new arrival in the Southern Resident pod!

A brand new calf, estimated at less than a week old, was spotted off San Juan Island over the weekend by the Center for Whale Research.  This is the first new baby seen since 2012, when two calves were born – one in J pod and one in L pod.  This birth brings the total number of the endangered Southern Resident population to 79 individuals and some good news for these whales after the loss of two L pod members this summer.

Mom L86, Surprise!, lived up to her name by showing up with the new calf on Saturday, September 6.  Orcas have a gestation period of 15-17 months, and in the Southern Resident population, most births seem to take place in the fall and winter months when the whales are outside their core summer habitat.  New members are often not seen until they come back with their families in the summer.  However, births can occur at any time of the year and have been observed in the summer months, just like this latest arrival.

So far, the newest member of the Southern Residents has been seen in the company of mom Surprise!, aunt L27 (Ophelia), and older brother L106 (Pooka).  These orcas live in matrilineal family groups, with all members helping to raise new babies – older siblings, aunts, and uncles often act as babysitters.

The new baby will be designated L120 as the 120th known member of L pod.  If he/she survives their first year, members of the public can suggest and vote on an official name – so start brainstorming some ideas and let’s keep our fingers crossed we see this little one again next summer!