Monday, June 24, 2013

North Atlantic Right Whale Season

Every winter, pregnant North Atlantic Right Whales migrate to the coasts of South Georgia and Northern Florida to give birth in warmer waters. The public is urged to help watch for them and report sightings of this endangered species (there are now less than 500 of them known to exist.) Their life span used to be approximately 50-75 years, but thanks to environmental factors and collisions with boats, has been diminished to about 15 years today.

Presently, North Atlantic Right Whales are among the most endangered whales in the world, protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Most of the remaining ones occupy the western North Atlantic Ocean, but in the eastern North Atlantic, with a total population reaching into the low teens, scientists consider them already functionally extinct.

(Top: Sign on pier, reminding the public to watch for whales, St. Augustine, FL. Bottom: Video of mother and its calf, Marineland, FL.)

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