FL - Right whale calf births rise to 9

Three new North Atlantic right whale calves were reported late Monday, bringing the winter’s total to nine, two more than last year and the highest number since 2016.

Survey crews with the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found the new calves and their moms, said Allison Garrett, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries division.

Additional details on the three newest calves are expected Tuesday, Garrett said, as photographs of the calves and their mothers are studied by whale experts. Photos of the calves’ mothers will be compared to photos in an identification database maintained by the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium. The database includes more than a million slides and digital images collected since 1935.

[READ MORE: Right whales spotted off Volusia-Flagler coast]

[READ MORE: Endangered right whales spotted off Flagler Beach]

The birth of each critically endangered calf is celebrated by whale watchers.

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