General Article Dire news for endangered right whales: not a single newborn spotted this year

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“Right now, the sky is falling,” warns a National Marine Fisheries Service scientist.

By Mary Papenfuss

Endangered North Atlantic right whales are facing an increasingly bleak future as researchers report they haven’t spotted any new calves this season.

Trained spotters look for newborns from December to the end of March by flying over the coasts of Florida and Georgia, where female right whales typically give birth. If they don’t see any new calves by next Saturday, it will be the first time since 1989 that newborns haven’t been found.

Barb Zoodsma, who oversees the right whale recovery programme in the U.S. Southeast for the National Marine Fisheries Service, told the Associated Press that the dearth of calves could signal the “beginning of the end” for the species.

“Right now, the sky is falling,” Zoodsma said. “I do think we can turn this around. But. . . what’s our willpower to do so? This is a time for all hands on deck.”

Spotters were already alarmed in December by the lack o...

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