The Southern Resident killer whales were in need of some good fortune. It came on January 10th with the appearance of a new calf, L124, whose sex is unknown and who is informally named Lucky.
So why no picture of Lucky?
The reality is that calves like Lucky only have a 40% chance of survival. More sobering still is the fact that no calves have survived in this population in the last three years. This is why we have stopped using images other than those taken during essential research and monitoring efforts. Exposing this new whale, and members of this population, to more vessel traffic is a disturbance the whales simply do not need.
While we recognize that whale watching is but one of a suite of pressures facing the Southern Residents, vessels at close proximity interfere with feeding and communication. Right now Lucky needs more than luck. The whole population needs us to do everything we can. This is why we are calling for a closure of whale watching on Southern Residents. Whale watching is not solely dependent on the Southern Residents; there are other whales and other killer whales that are not critically endangered.
Right now, with our conservation partners, we are also participating in numerous working groups established by the federal government to address prey availability and reduce noise and disturbance. This doesn’t shift our stance on what is required. In terms of prey, the easiest way to provide more food and recover endangered Chinook populations is to close marine commercial and recreational Chinook fisheries that target the salmon these whales require.
A new calf is cause for hope. We can give it a better chance of survival by reducing disturbance.
For those that remain.
Help us protect KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest
Together with Pender Islands Conservancy, we are raising funds to purchase and permanently protect a 45 acre forested property on the edge of the Salish Sea. The KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest is located within the Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) biogeoclimatic zone, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in Canada. It is also among the most threatened in Canada. Protecting these forests is an investment in our collective future.
We are eight months into our campaign and are 65% of the way to our fundraising goal. This acquisition is a tangible way that you can help protect forest lands and build climate resilience!