First Right Whales of the season show up a month late

Published August 12, 2019 68 Plays $0.97 earned

Rumble / Wild WildlifeSouthern Right Whales (Eubalaena australis) feed in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic waters, traveling North for the breeding season that goes from July to November, with its peak in August-September. Although in the last two seasons they were first seen on July 11th, in Torres - RS, this year they were nearly a month late, and the people from the Farol das Baleias project had already been monitoring the area for 40 days when they finally decided to show up! A mother and calf were seen on August 9th, and everybody ran up to the sea-cliff to see them! Such an exciting moment!

There are two other species of Right Whale: the Northern Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis), and the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica). All three species received this name because whalers referred to them as the "right" whales to kill, due to their large amount of oil and baleen, which had many uses. Also, they usually travel at no more than about 10 miles per hour, making them easy to capture, and they float once they are dead, making the carcass much easier to salvage.

They came close to extinction by 1750, and although they became internationally protected in the first half of the 20th century, they might still go extinct in about 20 years. The populations of Southern Right Whale have been growing since, but the North Atlantic Right Whale is still very rare.

In spite of whaling no longer being a threat to them, their main causes of known mortality are entanglement in fishing gear and vessel strikes. When ships run into them, the damage is often fatal; they might die at the time of the impact, or later, from blood loss or other complications. And although Ship strikes and fishing gear entanglement are the leading causes of death for North Atlantic Right Whales, they aren't the only ones. Right Whales are very sensitive to noise, so the sound pollution from seismic airguns, etc., is another very real threat, especially when combined with the first two.

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