North Atlantic right whale calves are being spotted again this year, a small ray of light for one of the world's most endangered large whale species. Two calves were spotted by the Center for Coastal Studies' aerial survey team in New England's Cape Cod Bay, bringing the number seen there to three for 2019.
Earlier this year, the Natural Resources Defense Council said seven calves had been spotted off the coasts of Florida and Georgia, where they are born. After calving, the whales make their way north to New England, usually in April. The three seen in New England were among the seven seen on the southern coast.
North Atlantic right whales have been listed as endangered since 1970 under the Endangered Species Act. After being hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century, they are now threatened by climate change, with warming temperatures affecting their food chain, as well as by fishing nets, boats striking them and ocean noise. It's a "good sign" that the three baby whales made it to Cape Cod Bay from where they were spotted in southern waters.