July 18, 2019

J pod is one of three family groups that make up the West Coast’s endangered southern resident killer whale population, and it’s the one most commonly seen by whale watchers in B.C. and Washington. 

These animals will stay close to their mothers for their entire lives, naturally grouping into “matrilines” that hint at a common female ancestor.

All living orcas in J pod are believed to be descended from four matriarchs that are now dead: J2 (Granny), J4 (Mama), J7 (Sucia) and J9 (Neah). 

The family trees below show how these matrilines have evolved. They include the mother orcas that have been lost, along with all other whales that have died since 2015.