By becoming a member of the Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program you will be directly supporting research on wild killer whales. Continuing research will lead to a better understanding of the whales, their place in the ocean ecosystem, and the conservation measures necessary to protect them.




Whale Update....

Northern Residents

A36s and A12

 The northern residents have been a little scarce for the past month or so around northern Vancouver Island. On June 9, Springer and her new calf were spotted headed south from Fisher Channel with other members of the A24 matriline. Plumper (A37) and Kaikash (A46) have been seen many times at the end of June hanging around the Robson Bight area and could be heard on the hydrophones operated by OrcaLab on June 25! On July 2, the A12s and the B7s were seen together off the Port Hardy airport.


Southern Residents

The J7 matriline was seen on June 1 heading south past Lime Kiln. L-Pod made their return to the area on June 3, meeting up with J-pod just off Lime Kiln Park. J19 and J41 were seen cruising past Turn Point on June 10 with other members of J-pod and again this pair was seen on June 20 in Rosario Strait. On June 16, the J9 matriline was seen heading east through Boundary Pass. By June 21, almost all of L-pod had joined up to swim south past the Lime Kiln lighthouse, stopping for snacks along the way. J35 and J47 were spotted on June 28 ‘playing’ with an unlucky harbour porpoise near San Juan Island – where L95 had been seen that same day! On July 2, K-pod was seen with L-pod traveling off San Juan Island.


Bigg's (Transients) 

At the end of May, the T18s and the T2 group were seen near Big Bay, heading east through JOhnstone Strait.  On June 22, the T2 group was seen near Vivian Island. They hung out for a few days before being seen June 29 leaving Eagle Bay headed toward Whale passage. T2B was seen on June 29, lagging behind the other T2s and spending more time with the T101s. By July 2, the T2 group was again seen entering Blackfish Sound.


July 2014
In this issue

 Whale Update
 Program Update
 Field Updates
 In the News 




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Adoption Program Update....

If you haven’t already heard, we are getting ready to add Springer’s (A73) calf to the adoption program, but first – it needs a name! Click here to read more about naming calves and to vote for your favorite name!

We are excited to announce four new calves have been added to the adoption program. These calves were all born in 2012 and survived that difficult first year of live. We are happy to introduce:

  • Kamux (A101) - first calf of Cedar (A75)
  • Tuzo (A102) - second calf of Eclipse (A67)
  • Fitz (D27) - third calf of Cascade (D13)
  • Lucky (T123C) - third calf of Sidney (T123)

We are pleased to announce the Marine Mammal Research Program is now part of the newly launched Coastal Ocean Research Institute (CORI). CORI is a new, independent, multidisciplinary, collaboration-based, institute to fill a major gap in understanding and managing our coastal ocean environments. For more information on CORI, Click Here. 




For questions or comments about what you see in this newsletter please send an email to



Field Notes....

Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard headed out into the field on our research vessel the Skana at the beginning of June. He spent the month on the central coast working in collaboration with the Hakai Beach Institute and the Marine Education Research Society (MERS). Their study is focused on determining why Fitz Hugh Sound is such a popular summer refuge for Humpback Whales, and how this influx of whales affects their prey. After a very busy month, Dr. Barrett-Lennard headed north in search of Killer Whales. The trip is a great opportunity to continue our long-term study on killer whales on the Central Coast, and it was a great opportunity to catch up with our own Caitlin Birdsall, who moved to Prince Rupert as part of the Vancouver Aquarium’s North Coast Initiative.



In the News...

Springer (A73), a killer whale who 12 years ago was reunited with her pod aftr being found orphaned and isolated near Seattle, was seen again this year with her calf A104 who was born in 2013. This is great news for Springer as infant mortality is high among first-born calves. Researchers from Hakai Beach Institute, Vancouver Aquarium and Marine Education Research Society were looking at humpback whale body condition in Fitz Hugh Sound when the pair were sighted travelling with close relatives. 


For more information on Springer’s story, Click Here:


 Read More: Vancouver Sun

 Read More: Chek News

 Read More: Toronto Star