2014 Florida Volunteer Updates

As the North Atlantic right whales migrate to the South Georgia/Northern Florida coast each winter volunteers help watch for and capture critical details related to this endangered species. This information helps scientists track the fate of the species and acts as a first alert system to pilots in the shipping lanes to avoid accidental killings. This blog shares the findings, photos and other pertinent information gathered from the Palm Coast Sector Volunteer Team while helping to connect and communicate the many ways we can protect the right whales and sustain our wonderful ocean life.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mother and Calf Spotted...Up North?!?

Thanks to Becky Bush for spotting this whale article online. Seems our friends at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies are not only busy with numerous right whale sightings near the Cape, which is normal most years, but to have a mother with her calf in nearby Plymouth Harbor? Unprecedented. 

According to the PCCS Facebook page the whales were spotted and called in Saturday by Regina Asmutis Silvia of Whale and Dolphin Conservation which put the team into action including the NESAS aerial survey crew. You can see the image of the mother and calf on Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies Facebook page here: PCCS Facebook page.

Do you think it has anything to do with the unseasonably warm temperatures we are experiencing? I know this crazy weather even has the flowers and trees up North confused. Maybe this is occurring across all life on our planet? Something to think about as we bask in the warmth of...January!

Here's the article and links to the article web page. Whale on!


Right Whale, calf make rare winter appearance

By Colin A. Young, Globe Correspondent

A North Atlantic right whale and her calf were spotted outside Plymouth Harbor on Saturday, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies said — a sighting so early that one scientist called it “mind blowing.”
“I’ve been studying these waters for 27 consecutive years, and it used to be that April 15 would be when we would first see mothers with calves,” said Charles “Stormy” Mayo, a scientist at the center. “We did have a couple of instances of mothers coming up here really early, in late March, but January is completely unheard of.”
Pregnant right whales typically migrate to the coasts of Georgia and Florida to give birth in December or January before returning to feeding grounds like Cape Cod Bay in mid-April, Mayo said.
The whale holds special significance for the center, which in 2008 found it entangled in a rope. Crews made several attempts over three years to free the whale, nicknamed Wart, before cutting the rope with a specially designed arrow in 2011.
The center knew it was the same whale because New England Aquarium scientists identified it from aerial photos.
“She was a whale my team and I worked very hard on,” said Scott Landry, director of the center’s entanglement response team. Wart had not been seen since 2011, he said.
Colin A. Young can be reached at colin.young@globe.com

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