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Deborah Giles in KUOW News: J pod orcas back in Salish Sea

Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 09:30 to Friday, October 16, 2020 - 09:30

Deborah Giles, research scientist for Sam Wasser's University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology, was featured in an article on KUOW about the return of the endangered J pod to the Puget Sound region.

Members of the endangered J pod have been swimming back and forth near the San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island since July 4. The southern resident orcas have spent less and less time in the Salish Sea, where they are summer residents, due to a lack of food in recent years.

The fact they've spent at least 10 days in inland waters means there is salmon, says University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology researcher Deborah Giles. She says they've been seen diving for fish.

"This morning [Tuesday] they were picked up first thing, right off the west side of San Juan Island," Giles said. "They do this thing we call the 'west side shuffle' between south beach and the Lime Kiln lighthouse."

It's a rare sighting of the endangered whales; the entire J-pod has been present. Every member accounted for and photographed by biologists.

Read the full article here.

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