Today’s Solutions: May 22, 2024

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the planet’s most endangered species, with only about 360 of them left in the world. That’s why the recent sightings of two calves of this elusive whale species are such good news.

The first of the two calves spotted over the past week was seen swimming off the coast of Cumberland Island in Georgia. Biologists from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium said they caught sight of the offspring swimming close to a first-time mom known as Chiminea.

“Soon enough, the team knew the mother would surface for a breath of air and the calving season would have the first live mother-calf right whale pair,” said Melanie White, a biologist who serves as the aquarium’s North Atlantic Right Whale Conservation Project Manager.

The second, born to 16-year-old Millepede, was spotted two days later while swimming with bottlenose dolphins off Vilano Beach in Florida. “Uplifting news for this fragile species especially during the first week of December,” White noted.

The waters along the coastlines of Georgia and Florida are the whales’ only known calving grounds, where they arrive in winter from the feeding grounds off New England and Canada to give birth.

The calving season usually starts in December and lasts through March. Last year there were 10 calves born, up from seven a year earlier. But conservationists urge officials to take more action and protect this still very vulnerable species from fishing equipment entanglement, whaling, vessel strikes, and ocean noise levels.

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