Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2024

Only 73 southern resident killer whales remain in the wild, and the species reproduces very slowly, making conservation efforts painstakingly slow. Fortunately, a pair of marine biologists with keen eyes spotted an encouraging sight in the waters off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. The biologists were observing killer whales in the Salish Sea when they noticed that three of the endangered whales are pregnant.

Killer whales, or orcas, give birth to one calf at a time, every three to ten years, so three pregnancies is an exciting event. The three whales had noticeable bulges below their rib cages, indicating pregnancy, but there is no way to know how far along they are in their 17-month gestation period.

Holly Fearnbach and John Durban, the biologists who made the discovery, were in the region using aerial drone technology to monitor the southern resident killer whale population. Killer whale social pods are categorized by their maternal ancestor. There are three in the Pacific Northwest: J, K, and L. The pregnant whales have been identified as J pod members J36, J37, and J19.

Threatened by food shortages, chemical pollution, and ships, the total southern resident killer whale population is at its lowest point since the 1970s. Unfortunately, the whales also have a high rate of miscarriage, so the researchers plan to continue to monitor the pregnancies closely.

Officials are asking all boaters to avoid the area if possible and urging them to follow Be Whale Wise regulations and stay at least 100 years away from marine animals.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Why you should drink coffee after breakfast—and not before

While it may be tempting to drink coffee the moment you get out of bed, a study from the University of Bath suggests that ...

Read More

Wildlife filmaker provides a unique insight into the daily lives of bees

You may have seen bees flying around your backyard or local park, but it can be difficult for the naked human eye to grasp ...

Read More

This is the UN plan to tackle plastic pollution

The Optimist Daily very much likes writing about plastic cleanup in the oceans. So, we were ecstatic when we learned about the beginnings of a ...

Read More

Revel at the most detailed image of our universe yet

Here at The Optimist Daily, we have been sharing every exciting step of the James Webb Telescope’s journey, from its long-awaited launch, to when ...

Read More