Great News for the Future of the J Pod Whales

On May 26, the Center for Whale Research staff encountered J pod during a photo-ID and aerial observation survey.

The team captured photographs and drone video of the ventral side of the pod’s youngest member, a calf named J59. From this, the team was able to determine that J59 is a female.

Having another female is good news for the southern residents; the population’s growth is largely limited by the number of reproductively aged females. There is great hope that J59 can grow to adulthood and contribute to future generations of southern residents. 

This pod of whales is part of the SRKW Family, which the WLC will be monitoring closely once we get our boat.

Around the San Juan Islands, lower Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia, and the Southern Canadian Gulf Islands, J pod is the most likely to be in the waters year-round. Historically, J pod has been known to frequent the west side of San Juan Island, in Haro Strait, during the summer months.

The CWR has been documenting the Orca population status, monitoring their health, and examining their interactions and behaviors since 1976.