Endangered Orca Species Survives…Barely

The Orca may be considered by most to be the fiercest killer whale in the sea; it remains to be an endangered Orca nonetheless. There are currently only 81 of them left in the wild. This is a frightening prospect for scientists and environmental advocates to get a hold of. The conservation efforts for these animals have greatly increased over the last few years in an effort to help them out of this situation.

The good news is that there have been four calves birthed within the last several months to two of the big orca groups that scientists have been tracking near the Washington, D.C. area. The Pacific Whale Watch Association is responsible for keeping an eye on them and reporting everything that goes on with them to the federal government. They are determined to get these magnificent animals the care and the necessary protection that they need.

Orca whales are very majestic animals, and they are also very well known for their large spots over their eyes. However, many people are fearful of these animals and do not want to support their population growth because of bad incidents that have happened when Orca’s attacked people in the past. Sometimes, when a person is out in the water and an Orca sees them on a surfboard or something along those lines, they can easily confuse them for a seal, which is one of their legitimate forms of prey in the wild. Many times, it is not the Orca’s knowing intent to injure and/or kill a human being, it is simply a misunderstanding of the animal’s predatory instincts.

The Orca whale has long been in an endangered status, and marine biologists and scientists have been working hard to ensure their survival. By keeping a close eye on them and by identifying each one of the different families and individuals within each group, they strive to keep a very accurate record of all of the whales in the population. They also desire to keep their habitat safe by lowering pollution, and keeping them away from fishing hazards. There are also other threats that these killer whales must face, such as the possibility of being hunted for commercial or entertainment reasons. The authorities have been notified to do the best they can to keep these whales safe, but even then it is difficult to keep them entirely secure.

While the future of these animals is still very much hanging in the balance, the cooperation between the Pacific Whale Watch Association and NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center hopes to see their numbers begin to rise very soon. They are currently keeping track of two families, which they are calling the J-pod and the L-pod. The most recent baby that was born has been identified as part of the J-pod and the mother is suspected to be whale J-16. Only time will tell if these majestic animals will be able to overcome the immense hurdles that still lie ahead of them.

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