Extinction Watch: North Atlantic Right Whales

The only known calving area for the North Atlantic right whale is the coastal waters of the southeastern U. S. They travel south every fall from the waters off the New England states and Canada. Researchers closely monitor the mother and calf pairs and so far this season have identified eleven new calves, including this one with mother Tripelago:

Credit: Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute

Tragically we are killing North Atlantic right whales, by running them over with boats/ships and putting out fishing gear that entangles them, faster than they can reproduce. The entire population is estimated at less than 350 animals with less than 70 being reproductively active females.

When visiting the ocean along the east coast of the U. S. and Canada, follow the law by staying at least 500 yards away from right whales. Boaters should make themselves aware of recent area whale sightings, post a lookout (right whales are difficult to spot), avoid boating in low light and most importantly, slow down.

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