The Rottnest Island Orca Pod have been sighted regularly over the southern Humpback migration this season. There is a lot to learn about this Pod as we know of and have ID’s on the North West Cape Pod and also our Bremer Bay Orca Pod but the Rottnest Island Orca Pod is another family we need to spend more time with to discover their habitat and migratory movements. We have on file a number of ID photo’s and footage and we are spending more time in the area to establish where these Killer Whales (Orca) are coming from and where they are going.
Though limited ID opportunities have presented we are able to ID and name 3 of the Pod so far;
- RP01 – Matriach – Wadjemup
- RP02 – Male (likely Son) – Yagan
- RP03 – Female – (likely daughter) – Bidi
We visit the Perth Canyon Blue Whales each April and May and have discovered many other Cetacean species out there but the Orca are still elusive in the Perth Canyon. Our Bremer Bay Orca do migrate along the continental shelf and come back to the same spot for feeding in Jan – March each year so are our Rottnest Island Orca’s doing the same thing in the Perth Canyon?
Time and research will tell.
We do know they have been seen over quite a few years but this year the sightings are becoming more frequent and some of our citizen scientists have reported they have witnessed predatory behaviour on the Humpback calves as they move past the Perth waters. Rottnest Island is a great sound cover and decoy for the approaching Humpbacks and ever the opportunists, Orca will take advantage of their environment to launch attacks as other Whales come past the Island.
A lot of Humpbacks have been sighted wide on the horizon of Perth waters breaching and communicating however we are still just short of half way through the migration so numbers are expected to increase. Presently our data log (lat/long positions of each sighting) are down on this time last year at the corresponding time. Could this be the trajectory of the Humpbacks course for more western feeding grounds in Antarctica or perhaps the influence of marauding Orca is having a greater influence than we think.
This season we have felt a distinct energy change in the mothers & calves and juveniles thus far in the southern migration with little surface time, long down time and limited evidence of the mothers teaching the calves the Language of the Whales™ which has been prolific in the preceding years.
We spend up to 340 days a year watching different Cetacean species interact with themselves and their environment, including us, and we are constantly looking for the different energies of our Whales which gives us an unique insight to what is going on in their world, which has been our families world for over 75 years. Through our Pearling years and our Grandfathers many years in the Indian Ocean, we are always out there associating with Western Australian Whales and what we learn we wish to share with you.
Please contact us if you have any footage or files on our Rottnest Island Orca Pod or any other Cetaceans as we are constantly building our research department to help learn more about our Western Australian Whales.
-Whale Watch Western Australia
This post was adapted from a blog, read the original here