Marine biologists have recently announced that killer whales are facing a new problem, namely starvation. Several cases of missing orcas have been reported in the Washington waters supervised by specialists. They are now trying to come up with solutions to help the starving killer whales.
Official statistics from specialists show that the current population of killer whales counts only on eighty members. The most recent death was that of a female orca, which scientists identified as J28. She also had a young calf which was less than one year old. None of them was recently spotted by the tracking systems of specialists, and they believe that both mother and calf are now dead.
A killer whale census held on July 1 concluded that another female of the Washington population was missing. This particular individual was forty-two years old, according to specialists. As opposed to her, J28 was only twenty-three or twenty-four years old.
The leader of the survey raised the problem of the starving killer whales. He and his team are especially concerned about the situation of mothers and their calves. The young orcas need proper food resources in order to develop and survive. Their chances of becoming strong, healthy adults are significantly reduced by the lack of food in the ocean.
The specialists in charge of monitoring the orcas account for the fact that J28 showed evident signs of emaciation before she died. They intend to prevent similar events from occurring in the future. Moreover, the death of mother whales certainly dooms the calves, as they need to be guided and protected in order to survive in the ocean’s world.
Researchers believe that they can help the starving killer whales by letting loose the dams. The action is meant to enable salmon enter the habitat of the orcas and supply their food resources. The specialists state that the dams on the Lower Snake River are their best bet.
Statistics show that the numbers of killer whales in the region are alarmingly low for some decades now. Twenty years ago there were one hundred individuals in the population. However, today eighty of them are left, despite the new members that were born meanwhile. This is one of the lowest rates in orcas population ever recorded.
There are voices that claim that letting loose the dams is not a good solution because it interferes with local economy and energy. However, environmentalists intend to apply some strategy that should benefit the starving killer whales.
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