Pudget Sound Orcas May No Longer Be Endangered - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pudget Sound Orcas May No Longer Be Endangered

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SEATTLE (AP) - The federal government is reviewing whether Puget Sound Orcas should keep its endangered status.

NOAA Fisheries said Monday the review was prompted by a petition from the California-based Pacific Legal Foundation seeking to delist the killer whales. The petition asserts that Orcas aren't in danger of becoming extinct because they're part of a larger population of thriving whales.

NOAA listed southern resident killer whales as endangered in 2005. The Orcas frequent Washington's Puget Sound. They also spend time in the open ocean. There are currently 86.

The agency has a year to decide whether it should delist the Orcas. It says accepting the petition does not suggest a proposal to delist will follow.

The petition was filed in August on behalf of two California farms and the Center for Environmental Science Accuracy and Reliability.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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