April 15, 2016
Some good news has come from the B.C. orca world, after recent dreary reports of dead killer whales and skewed sex ratios in newborns.
A calf, born in 2015, has been identified as a female by the Centre for Whale Research.
The centre was able to identify the sex of the orca, named J53, from photos sent to them by the public.
A new female calf is a big deal for the endangered southern residents orca population, as the large majority of calves in a recent so-called orca “baby boom” have been male.
Only one of the eight other calves born since Dec. 30, 2014, has been female.
We are delighted to have another young female in the population,” wrote the Centre for Whale Research on their website. “This is great news for the southern residents.”
Researchers have been concerned this skewed sex ratio could be linked to toxins in the orcas environment.
A skewed sex ratio could make reproductions difficult in the future, as female orcas only give birth roughly once every three years.