Comeback calves

Endangered right whales spotted in record numbers

Volunteers who help track endangered North Atlantic right whales are optimistic about the potential for the recovery of the species.

More than 30 right whale calves have been spotted along the Georgia and Florida coasts this season. CNN reports that the sightings of the young creatures are the most ever recorded.

Scientists say that only about 400 right whales exist, making the species the most critically endangered marine mammals on the planet. The biggest threats to the species’ survival are collisions with ships and fishing gear, which can ensnare the giant animals.

Late last year, to help buoy their numbers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service sent out an advisory to Atlantic mariners, warning them to keep watch for the giant creatures.

In addition to cautioning vessels, the NOAA instructed large ships to reduce their speeds along portions of the migratory pathway.