Researchers from the University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology have been testing whale scat around the Puget Sound & the Juan de Fuca Strait. They have found evidence that the whales are experiencing nutritional deficiency due to the lack of their main food source which is Chinook salmon. We have had a total of 7 deaths this year and the poplulation of the pod is now at around 83, which is down from 96 a few years ago. That is really a staggering loss when you consider how small the pod is. At the current rate, scientists expect that the orcas will be extinct in less that 50 years without salmon recovery. They have also determined that marine traffic & toxins are also contributing to the problem. It is surprising to me, because there have been some good thing being done to increase the salmon runs in the Puget Sound, here in Washington state. I think with the death of these whales it has made it quite obvious that we need to do more to increase our salmon runs, & get the Puget Sound healthy again.
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