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We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...

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!