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Right Whale Calving Season Begins This Month


Environment  (tags: wildlife, right whales birthing, warnings to boaters to stay clear )

Tony
- 3904 days ago - thebrunswicknews.com
Right whale calving season starts off Georgia's coastal waters in mid-November and lasts through mid-April, meaning area boaters should take care to steer away from the massive, endangered mammal.



   

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Comments

Kathy W (299)
Tuesday November 11, 2008, 12:00 am
What an amazing sight that would be! Be careful out there whale watchers! We don't want any of the whales hurt or unduly stressed! Thank you Tony.
 

. (0)
Tuesday November 11, 2008, 12:55 pm
Hey Tony
Can you give the link for this story ?
The link doesn't work here
 

In A Mirror D (31)
Tuesday November 11, 2008, 1:25 pm

Cooler months are looming on Georgia's horizon, bringing with it a warning from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources: Watch out for right whales.

Right whale calving season starts off Georgia's coastal waters in mid-November and lasts through mid-April, meaning area boaters should take care to steer away from the massive, endangered mammal.

Marine biologists will begin aerial watches of the mammal Dec. 1 and wrap up their surveys in April.

There are only an estimated 300 to 400 right whales left in the wild and about half of those migrate to the warmer waters off the coasts of Georgia and Florida each winter to give birth to calves, said Kate Sparks, a natural resources technician with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR is asking boaters to slow down and keep a vigilant watch on the water during the vital calving season. By law, boaters must remain 500 yards away from whales, Sparks said.

Boaters should also operate their vessels at 10 knots or slower when in calving grounds and slow down to a minimal speed when a whale is spotted in open water.

Sparks warns boaters to take extreme caution in times of low visibility, such as in foggy conditions and at night, when spotting whales is more difficult.

"Boaters should also wear polarized sunglasses because that makes seeing the whales easier," she said.

In recent years, boaters have gotten the message about taking precautions in calving season. Fewer reports of ships striking whales are being made.

During the 2007-2008 calving season, no dead calves were found on Georgia shores, although a few were found in Florida, Sparks said.

"It's hard to monitor how many whales are being hit by boaters," Sparks said. "Sadly, we can only know if a whale is struck if it washes up on shore.

"The main message is, just slow down and be careful. Look for those big gray spots in the water and avoid them."

Knowing what to watch for in open waters can help boaters avoid hitting right whales, Sparks said.

Right whales have no dorsal fins, which can make them harder to see from surface waters, and are about 40 to 50 feet long. They have a white mark on their head, called a callosity, v-shaped blow holes and blunt flippers.
 

Tony Fields (342)
Tuesday November 11, 2008, 9:16 pm
MMMM, yes Claudia, i tried it too and it didnt come up from the site i found it at either, but i found the newspapaper addy... http://www.thebrunswicknews.com/ ....hope that helps hehe...thankz for noting and comments everyone mmmuaaahhh!
 
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