Ga. researchers say first right whales arriving

7:17 AM, Nov 30, 2011   |    comments
Right whales playing in the Atlantic (File Photo)
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BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Georgia wildlife researchers say endangered right whales are starting to show up along the southern Atlantic coast.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says an aerial survey crew spotted the first right whale of the winter calving season last week off the coast of South Carolina.

The whales, which grow up to 50 feet in length, migrate each winter from New England to the warmer waters off Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida to give birth. Experts estimate fewer than 400 of the whales remain.

Clay George, who heads the right whale monitoring program for the Georgia DNR, says warmer weather this winter could mean more whales stay off Georgia's 100 mile coast rather than head further south into Florida.

The right whale calving season typically lasts into mid-April.

(Associated Press)

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