Friday, December 25, 2009

Aerial Surveys begin in the Southeast U.S.

Aerial surveys began the beginning of December in the right whale calving area in the Southeast United States. There are a number of teams ranging from North Carolina to Florida that cover as much area as they can on every good weather day. Winter always brings its challenges, even in the relatively warm south. Our seas in the Bay of Fundy change from very calm to feather white - so much wind that the entire surface of the Bay is white from wind whipped waves.

No right whale calves have been spotted yet that I know of but you can keep up with the New England Aquariums aerial team on their blog ( I will endeavour to post any sightings of our adoptive whales as I hear about them and update the family trees. Right whales have complicated family trees with many fathers for each female and her calves.

While another banner year would be fabulous (last year's 39 was a record breaker), it is impossible to know at this point how many calves will be born. We can just keep our fingers crossed that the number of calves will be above average and keep the population growing. The latest population figure for 2008 is 438, a spectacular growth but still incredibly fragile.

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