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August 30, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Orca population in Puget Sound continues decline

The Associated Press

FRIDAY HARBOR — With two new deaths this year and no new calves since 2012, the population of endangered killer whales in the Puget Sound continues to decline.

According to a census by the Center for Whale Research, the number of whales in J, K and L pods has dropped to 78, a level not seen since 1985.

Since 1976, Ken Balcomb of the research center has been observing the Puget Sound orcas — or Southern Residents, as they’re known among scientists. He compiles an annual census of the population for submission to the federal government.

The Kitsap Sun reports the two missing whales, presumed to be dead, are a 37-year-old female and a 13-year-old male, both members of L pod.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: orcas, pods, Puget Sound

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