Satellites track orcas’ winter wanderings (Canada, USA)

The ocean update

Wednesday, January 8, 2014. SEATTLE — Satellite tracking that let us “tag along” with killer whales as they spent many weeks hunting in the Columbia River plume in early 2013 is this winter revealing another orca pod’s travels in the Salish Sea.

Members of the J, K and L pods are collectively referred to as Southern Resident clan killer whales. They are famous in the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound, but much less is known about their lives along Washington’s outer coast. NOAA Fisheries started a project in 2011 in which a satellite-linked tag is attached to an individual member of these separately traveling pods to see where they spend the winter.

So far this winter a tag has been attached to an adult male, L87, which usually hunts with the J pod. New tracking shows these orcas made their way around Texada Island in the northern Strait of Georgia…

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