The endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in Cape Cod appear to be having a mini baby boom of late. Several new mother-calf pairs have already been spotted this year alone.
Mini Baby Boom
The Center for Coastal Studies In Massachusetts announced that it has spotted two mother-calf pairs in Cape Cod on April 11, bringing the number of such pairs spotted in the area this year to three.
While the numbers do not seem to be a lot, seeing new calves in the population is very important to the species because their numbers have been falling dangerously low. In fact, last year, no calves were seen at all. But this year, so far seven calves have already been spotted.
One of the mother whales, EgNo 4180, was first spotted in 2010, which means that she is at least 9 years old. She has been spotted every year since then, except for 2015, and the last time she was seen was in April of 2018. At the time they were unaware that she was pregnant, and in fact they did not even know what her gender was.
Unfortunately, it appears that EgNo 4180 has had some accidents since she was last seen, as she was observed to now have new entanglement wounds.
North Atlantic Right Whales
North Atlantic right whales are endangered whales with a population of just about 300 to 350 individuals. They can be found mostly in the Atlantic coast of North America where they are threatened by entanglement, pollution, and ship collisions.
Historically, the species populations were actually decimated by over-fishing. In fact, their names come from the fact that whalers considered them the “right” whales to hunt.
As such, conservation groups are reminding boaters, kayakers, paddle-boarders, swimmers, and even drone pilots that it is illegal to come within 500 yards (1,500 feet) to a North Atlantic right whale. They do, however, stay in areas that are close to land, so people can still observe the marine giants even from the shore.