It’s all right now, baby
Cetacean gestation a rare success story
By LOIS LEGGE Features Writer
Sat. Sep 26 - 4:46 AM
It may be starting to pay off.
The endangered North Atlantic right whales she studies number just 400 or so worldwide.
But the Canadian biologist confirmed this week that researchers recorded 39 births this year, the highest annual number since they started documenting the population in 1980.
"This year was phenomenal," said the senior scientist with the New England Aquarium in Boston. The aquarium is the lead body behind three decades of research.
The Montreal native is also affiliated with the Canadian Whale Institute in Wilsons Beach, N.B.
"There were 39 births recorded down on the only known calving ground along the southeast coast of Florida, and so far this year, we’ve documented . . . 20 of the mothers up here in the Bay of Fundy in the last two months or so and 19 of the calves. We’ve lost a couple of the calves, and it’s unfortunate, but with any mammal, it’s not uncommon to lose a couple of newborns."
Still, "the signs are very encouraging," she said, especially since scientists recorded just one birth for the species in 2001.
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