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Right Whale: Slower Migration to Florida

Jan 03, 2016 08:19 PM EST
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North Atlantic right whale
Endangered North Atlantic right whales have not showed up yet in their usual numbers on the Florida coast, which they migrate past each year. Researchers think that warm temperatures in Florida are keeping them north of the state.
(Photo : NOAA )

As in Hawaii and some other locations regarding humpback whales, Florida is not yet seeing its normal traffic of endangered North Atlantic right whales.  On the lower Atlantic coast of the United States, right whales usually make their way through by this time of year -- but researchers think warmer weather in Florida is preventing the whales from venturing further south yet, according to an article in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

But cooler weather is expected on the Florida coast soon. So far, only a few right whales were seen off a beach north of St. Augustine. Only one whale, a humpback, has been past Flagler Beach near Daytona Beach, which usually sees whales too by now.

Generally, the migrating right whale population that arrives along this coastline is thought to total around 510. Also, about 20 calves are born each winter season, as Jim Hain, a scientist with Associated Scientists of Woods Hole, in a report regarding last season's results.

Two mother-calf pairs were spotted in early December by observers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. That said, research centers such as the Volusia County Marine Science Center are conducting training for the public in making whale sightings. So researchers believe more whales will venture past soon.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

First Humpback Whale: Hawaii's Sign of Fall?

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales


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