Though it is early in 2016 there was a recent split in J Pod.
This has only been since March 24th.
How long it will continue remains to be seen.
'Group A' and 'Group B', an easy way to list them instead of listing each individual, have gone through some changes since they began this in 2010.
And now the newest change, though it may be short in duration, is very interesting.
There is no answer as to why, only speculation.
All of J Pod has been seen together in 2016.
They have passed through these local waters several times but have not stayed long, which is considered normal for the early part of the year. (See blog posts on Whale of A Purpose details of encounters, etc.)
Last fall all J Pod was mixed. Whereas they had traveled most often as the two groups, even when traveling together, that had changed.
In December, another calf was added to J Pod, J-54, belonging to Group B.
The J11s, of Group B, were seen traveling closer with Granny J-2 and Onyx L-87, which seemed unusual. This was noted more than once.
Now in March 2016, the J17s and J22s remained in the inland waters while the rest of J Pod, including the J11s, left and headed west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
As of this post, today is the 17th day the J17 and J22 family groups have been the only J Pod whales known to be in the inland waters. The remaining members of Group B and all of Group A have not been seen again...yet.
So is there still a Group A and a Group B?
We'll have to wait and see.
See the July 2012 post on this blog for the listing of who was originally in Group A and Group B.