Journal of the San Juan Islands


Southern residents: Road to recovery? Or, into the abyss?

September 18, 2013 · Updated 3:59 PM

Learn about the health and future prospects of the Southern resident killer whales as The Friday Harbor Whale Musuem hosts Lynne Barre and Brad Hansen of NOAA Fisheries tonight, Sept. 18, in the conclusion of its 2013 Summer Lecture Series.

For more than a decade, Hanson and Barre have worked together to understand the threats to the whales and implement management actions to protect them. They will provide an update on the Southern Resident killer whale research and recovery program and where the whales are along the "Road to Recovery".

The presentation begins at 7 p.m., at the Whale Museum, 62 First St., preceded by a reception with the two speakers at 6:30 p.m.

Listed as endangered under federal law in 2005, the population of Southern residents, which consists three closely related clans, J, K and L pods, remains well below the 2.3 percent annual rate of growth that NOAA, in its recovery plan released in 2008, determined would be needed for the population's survival over the long term.

Today, the population totals 82 animals, about four fewer than in 2005, the year the endangered listing was announced. The three biggest threats to the population's long-term survival are lack of prey (salmon), pollution and disturbance from boats, according to NOAA.

For more info, contact the Whale Museum, 360-378-4710, ext. 23, or visit, www.whalemuseum.org.



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