North Atlantic Right whales birthing record number of calves

North Atlantic Right whale mother and calf

North Atlantic Right whale mother and calf

Very Good New!

Congratulation to us all especially the North Atlantic Right whales. There is a bumper crop of new calves-35 so far this season.

Between the Race Point and Wood End lighthouses  are the closest land viewing points to one of the world’s most endangered species  the North Atlantic right whale. No matter which beach you walk around in the coastal town of Provincetown, over the course of the next few weeks these critically endangered animals can be seen. The annual February migration is underway in Cape Cod Bay, with record numbers observed this year.

Currently, more than 60 right whales are believed to be feeding in local waters and the current number of whale calves born this year is already over 35, the highest figure ever confirmed. There is a very high  concentrations in the bays this year of the calanoid copepod, a type of zooplankton about one millimeter in length that is a key nutrition source for the whales.

History of this population

At the end of the nineteenth century, the North Atlantic right whale had been hunted to extinction in European waters, and only about 100 were estimated to remain in the world. Since hunting them was outlawed by the League of Nations in 1935, their numbers have — very slowly — increased; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) now estimates the worldwide population to be around 325, now the actual figure may be higher.

Conservation measures are working-thanks for everyone help.

Recent federal changes to shipping lanes, lowing legal boating speeds and imposing fishing gear regulations can be helping right whale conservation efforts by reducing the number of whales killed each year by ship strikes and entanglement.

The Northern Right whale remains critically endangered.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of Provincetownbanner.com

Right whales return in droves

Early spring brings scores of endangered mammals to Cape shores 3/19/2009.

Image right whale and calf courtesy of web.utah.edu

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