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.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Whale of A New Season

Hello fellow whale watchers and enthusiasts. I am finally back in Florida for the winter and have signed up once again with The Marineland Right Whale Survey ProjectWhile last season the whales were all but absent, most likely due to the warmer water temperatures, this year holds much promise as there have been numerous sightings both in our local waters and off the shores of Cape Cod where many of our rights live and play. 

Per Joy Hampp (Project Coordinator), who "joy-fully" spotted the first mother and calf pair of the season, there have been 13 mother-and-calf pairs spotted to date in the Georgia and Florida waters, the latest of which were spotted this past Wednesday in St. Augustine. 

So this is sure to be a whale of a year for we citizen volunteers as we team with local scientists and resource managers in their monitoring and conservation of the endangered North Atlantic Right Whales during their calving and wintering grounds in our local waters. 

As per my usual routine at the top of the new season, below are a few reminders. My watch day is Fridays and I will attempt to post whale activity news and photographs on a weekly basis. Whale on!

In the HAMMOCK DUNES SECTOR call Sharon at 313-333-7344 

1-888-97-WHALE / 1-888-979-4253

(1) Search for and sight right whales
(2) assist with data recording and photography
(3) document potential human impacts
(4) help inform and educate the public
(5) provide stewardship for whales and their habitats
(6) serve as the eyes, ears and voice for right whales in coastal waters of Florida

no dorsal fin on the whale’s back

> V-shaped blow when it exhales

> white, raised patches of skin 
on the head (callosities)

> short, paddle-like, black flippers on both sides of the body

> triangular tail, black on both sides, with a deep notch in the middle