North Atlantic right whales, a critically endangered species, has given birth to more calves than scientists have ever seen since 2015. This is good news for researchers who have been worried about the population of these species when they didn’t produce any offspring three years ago.
17 calves were spotted with their mothers between North Carolina and Florida between December and March. One of the calves died after a boat hit it. Researchers became scared of the death rate exceeding birth rate.
In 2018, researchers recorded no births in three decades. Still, they maintain that greater numbers of calves are needed. The number of this critically endangered species is said to have declined to nearly 360.
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What we are seeing is what we hope will be the beginning of an upward climb in calving that’s going to continue for the next few years.Clay George
Clay George who is in charge of right whale surveys for the state of Georgia said that these species need to give birth to nearly two dozen calves every year for their population to remain stable and keep growing.
Every winter, North Atlantic right whales migrate to oceans off the Southeastern US. During the calving period, spotters fly over the coastline looking for mothers with their offspring.
This calf count matches the number of births recorded in 2015. Scientists suggest that a shortage of zooplankton in the Gulf of Maine may have caused a calving slump. They also maintained that more abundant food around the waters they migrated to may have resulted in the increase in births.