Endangered Animals

Special Animal: Right Whale

right whale's fluke

What is a Right Whale?

Right whales are amoung the most endangered of every whale species. The population of a right whale is not exactly known as there are so few, but worldwildlife.org says, "Around 400 North Atlantic right whales remain; other species vary: 10,000-90,000". They have no dorsal fin and have callosities which are lifted bumps on their skin that has unique patterns. There are two species of right whale, southern right whale and northern right whale, but it doesn't make much of a difference.

What do I do if I see a right whale?

Right whales are easy to spot because of their raised markings, but here is some advice on how to treat them:

  1. Keep at least 500 feet between you and the whale
  2. If the whale is in distress (for example: caught in a net, sick, or injured), call animal service or the coast guard to come and see the whale - do not handle anything yourself (see 1)
  3. Whenever you see a right whale, report the sighting to the whale alert app or call from Virginia to Maine at (866) 755-6622, and from Florida to North Carolina at 877-WHALE-HELP (877) 942-5343 or report to the coast guard

Habits and Diet:

A right whale is a type of baleen whale and eats zooplankton and copepods. You may sight it feeding in heavily populated areas of plankton.