DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Researchers have reported seeing three rare right whale calves off Florida's Atlantic coast.
Philip Hamilton of the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium says the calves are "a spark of hope" for the critically endangered marine mammals.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission researchers have spotted three pairs of mothers and calves since late December in the waters between Fernandina Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach.
Right whales typically migrate from the North Atlantic to give birth off the coasts of Georgia and Florida from December through March.
Scientists estimate only about 450 North Atlantic right whales remain. No newborns were spotted during the last calving season, and just five calves were counted during the previous year.