HomeTechnologyNumber of endangered southern resident killer whales drops from 74 to 73

Number of endangered southern resident killer whales drops from 74 to 73

SEATTLE (AP) — The population of endangered southern resident killer whales has dropped from 74 to 73 in the last census, according to the Center for Whaling Research.

The center posted on Facebook this week that it had completed its annual census estimate of the southern resident killer whale population for the National Marine Fisheries Service.

As of July 1, the population was 73 whales.

Since July 1, 2021, three whales have died while two were being born, officials said. Their number has hovered around 73 in recent years. Their population grew in the late 1970s, 1980s and mid-1990s, peaking at 98 animals, officials said. The population began to decline after that, going from 98 to 78 whales in 2001.

Residents of the south face several threats to their survival, including underwater noise, pollutants, and a lack of adequate Chinook salmon, their main food source.

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A study from the University of British Columbia showed this year that killer whales have not had enough food for several years.

The National Marine Fisheries Service finalized rules last year to expand the endangered killer whale’s critical habitat from the Canadian border to Point Sur, California, adding 15,910 square miles (41,207 square kilometers) of feeding grounds, mouths of rivers and migratory routes.

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