The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is the most endangered large whale in the oceans today. Fewer than 400 are left in their breeding and feeding grounds, which extend from Nova Scoti
The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is the most endangered large whale in the oceans today. Fewer than 400 are left in their breeding and feeding grounds, which extend from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico. Survivors of hundreds of years of commercial exploitation, the right whales we see in the ocean today are barometers for the plight of whales. For over 900 years, whalers hunted these animals almost out of existence. By 1935, when they were at last given international protection, some scientists suspected that there were fewer than 100 right whales left in the North Atlantic Ocean. Most thought the right whale was doomed to extinction.
The North Atlantic Right Whale describes and illustrates an ongoing story of science and rediscovery, of survival and protection, and of research, without which we cannot hope to protect the right whale's habitat along 1,400 miles of the east coast of North America, from Nova Scotia to Florida.
This book also describes in great detail the history and current status of the species, from the reason for its name, to the way each individual can be recognized, the species' feeding and breeding habits, migration, and life in the wilderness of the Atlantic Ocean.
View Biographical note
Dr. Scott Kraus
has more than 40 years of field research on whales and dolphins. He has been a research scientist in the Aquarium's Research Laboratory since 1980 and has published more than 110 papers on marine mammals.
is a critically acclaimed author and former Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Programs at Boston's New England Aquarium.
View Table of contents
1. Whale Evolution
Field Notes: Identifying Right Whales
2. Atlantic Whaling History
The Origin of a Name
3. As Commercial Whaling Ends
Re-Discovery and Recovery
Field Notes: How We Tell Right Whales Apart
4. Into the Present
Identifying Critical Habitats
The Southeast Calving Ground—Right Whale Birthplace
Field Notes: Social Structure, Behavior, and Communication
Cape Cod Bay—A Feeding Mecca
The Bay of Fundy—And Other Key Habitats
Field Notes: Feeding
Field Notes: Mating and Reproduction
Where Do They Go?
6. The Search for New Location
Changing Distribution of Food
Field Notes: Senses
Case Study: Porter and Other Wandering Whales
7. Changing Methods of Research
New Ways to Study Whales
The North Atlantic Right Whale Identification Catalog—The Foundation of Science and Conservation
Drones—The View from Above
Evaluating Health—Visual Health Assessments
Hormones for Health—Pregnancy, Maturity, and Stress
Family Ties—Whale Genetics
Eavesdropping on the Giants—Noise in the Ocean
Tagging—How Do We Know Where They Go?
Field Notes: A Family Tree: Wart and Her Descendants
8. Threats to Survival
Ocean Industrial Development
9. Hope for the Future
Saving the Ocean for Whales and Ourselves