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Right Whales


Diving into the Right Whale Gene Pool

Like forensic detectives, a multi-institutional team of scientists has followed a thread of DNA from the highly endangered right whale population across the oceans and back through generations.

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Ocean Life Institute

Ocean Life Institute

The oceans cover 70 percent of the planet?s surface and constitute 99 percent of its living space, and every drop of ocean water holds living things. Without its oceans, Earth would be a rock in space, and life may never have appeared on our planet.

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Playing Tag with Whales

Playing Tag with Whales

The challenge of designing a device to learn what marine mammals do on dives is the stuff of dreams for an electronics engineer.

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Red Tides and Dead Zones

Red Tides and Dead Zones

The most widespread, chronic environmental problem in the coastal ocean is caused by an excess of chemical nutrients. Over the past century, a wide range of human activities—the intensification of agriculture, waste disposal, coastal development, and fossil fuel use—has substantially increased the discharge of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients into the environment. These nutrients are moved around by streams, rivers, groundwater, sewage outfalls, and the atmosphere and eventually end up in the ocean.

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Scientists Muster to Help Right Whales

Scientists Muster to Help Right Whales

It is a sad irony that we have cataloged individual photographs of the remaining North Atlantic right whales and given each of them unique numbers and sometimes names, yet still know too little about their physiology, behavior, and habitats to take effective steps toward ensuring their survival as a species.

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Whither the North Atlantic Right Whale?

Whither the North Atlantic Right Whale?

“Today only a remnant of the population survives, no more than 350 whales clustered in calving and feeding grounds along the eastern seaboard of North America. Only occasional right whale sightings in the Gulf of St. Lawrence or in the waters between Iceland, Greenland, and Norway give echoes of their once substantially greater range.

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Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale Study Shows Sharp Decline in Mothers

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) report in today’s issue of the journal Nature that the population growth rate of North Atlantic Right whales has declined below replacement level because of increased mortality rates of mothers. The population numbers only about 300 and is predicted to become extinct within 200 years if the environmental conditions experienced by the whales in 1995 were maintained.

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New Model Suggests Northern Right Whale Population on Path to Extinction

The North Atlantic northern right whale, considered to be the most endangered large whale species, is headed for extinction unless human intervention improves survival, according to a new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMASS Boston). Their report, the first to obtain rigorous statistical estimates of survival probability of this population, was published today in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

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