facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Sighting of orcas off Scottish coast encourages conservationists

Aug. 23, 2013 at 5:01 PM   |   Comments

PETERHEAD, Scotland, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Three killer whales from a west coast community of orcas in Scotland have been seen off the country's east coast for the first time, conservationists say.

"This confirmed sighting -- the first in two decades of monitoring this important and highly fragile population of killer whales -- is a really exciting development," Mark Hosford of the the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust told the BBC.

The trust has been monitoring a group of orcas that ranges from the north and west coast of Scotland to Ireland's west coast and is thought to contain just nine older animals, Hosford said, and there are fears the group will eventually die off after becoming isolated from other killer whale populations.

"The west coast community is thought to be the only resident population of orca in the British Isles, and understanding their behavior and movements is crucial to the conservation of these remarkable creatures," he said.

Two males and a female were seen off Peterhead and Girdleness on Scotland's east coast Tuesday, conservationists said.

"These confirmed sightings are shattering the idea that there is an exclusively west coast community of killer whales," Peter Evans of Sea Watch said.

"They are clearly ranging further than we had thought, and presumably are seeking out prey in the region."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Audi gets permit to test self-driving cars in California Audi gets permit to test self-driving cars in California
2
Say goodbye to Chinese sturgeon Say goodbye to Chinese sturgeon
3
First 3D-printed car unveiled in Chicago First 3D-printed car unveiled in Chicago
4
Apple's latest operating system rolls out Wednesday afternoon Apple's latest operating system rolls out Wednesday afternoon
5
Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback