Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Right whale sighting: Wart and her baby doing ok

The right whale research team has been very busy surveying the whales off Cape Cod Bay, but they paused to share one nugget of excellent news: Wart and her calf have been sighted! Wart appeared in Cape Cod Bay in January with a newborn and hadn't been seen since they left the area the same month.  That's highly unusual and gave the researchers some cause for concern.

Wart with her calf in January, when the calf was about two weeks old
Photo: Allison Henry/NEFSC under Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies NOAA permit #14603

But having recently spotted the pair, they're thrilled that the calf is alive and both of them appeared to be healthy! Wart, along with more than 100 other right whales, have been sticking around the area to take advantage of the copious copepod food resource.

Wart and her calf less than two weeks ago, still swimming strong
Photo: Marilyn Marx/New England Aquarium under NOAA permit #14233

This happy update has been covered a bit in local media. Read more in the Cape Cod Times and on WCVB Channel 5. With so many right whales in the waters, whale researchers are urging local boaters to use caution. Ship strikes are a major cause for concern with this critically endangered species. Here are a couple more news stories about our seasonal neighbors—right whales:

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