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Right Whale - Canaveral National Seashore - Titusville, Florida
Canaveral National Seashore - Titusville Florida
Headquarters: 212 S. Washington Ave., Titusville, FL 32796 -- (321) 267-1110
Information Center: 7611 South Atlantic Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 -- (386) 428-3384


RIGHT WHALE AWARENESS

| CHARACTERISTICS | MIGRATION | NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE | SIZE AND FEEDING |
| CAUSES OF DEATH | WHAT CAN YOU DO? |

Right Whale

Characteristics of the Right Whale.

Right Whale 11. -- Whitish patches of raised and roughened skin (called callosities) on top of the head (see arrows).
Right Whale 22. -- V-shaped blow easily visible from in front or behind the whale.
Right Whale 33. -- No Dorsal fin on the back.
Right Whale 44. -- Tail flukes often lifted vertically when the animal dives.
Right Whale 55. -- All black tail on the top and underside.
Information provided by the Marine Resources Council.

MIGRATION

During the spring and fall, Canaveral National Seashore, on the East Coast of Central Florida is host to several species of migrating creatures. In the spring the Great Southern White butterfly can be seen at the dune line making their way through the Seashore. In the fall and winter migrating birds use the marshes and lagoon as a rest area. From December to March the Northern Right Whale come to the shores off the east coast to calve and rest until they make their way back north to the feeding grounds of the Northern Atlantic.

NORTHERN
RIGHT WHALE

Less than 300 Northern Right Whales exist today. Around the world, these endangered whales are known to consistently congregate in only 5 locations, namely the coast of Georgia and Florida, Stellwagen Bank and Cape Cod Bay, the Great South Channel east of Cape Cod Bay, the Bay of Fundy, and the Scotian Shelf.

During the winter, pregnant females travel to the warm waters of the Georgia and Florida Coasts - to the only known Northern Right Whale calving area in the world - to give birth. From spring to fall the whales congregate in the northwestem Atlantic feeding and courting.

The Right Whale got its name because it was the ''right" whale to hunt - it is slow moving and floats after being killed. It is the most endangered species of whale off of the U. S. Coasts. It was the first whale hunted by American whalers, and it was so depleted that it has not recovered despite being protected for over 50 years.

SIZE AND FEEDING

The maximum length of the right whales is about 60 feet, and the maximum weight is slightly more than 100 tons. They feed on large schools of crustaceans, specifically copepods and krill, and may feed on small fish near the ocean floor.

CAUSES OF DEATH

One of the major causes of death for the right whales seems to be collisions with ships. Marine debris such as plastics and large drift nets can be a hazard also.

| CHARACTERISTICS | MIGRATION | NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE | SIZE AND FEEDING |
| CAUSES OF DEATH | WHAT CAN YOU DO? |

WHAT CAN YOU DO

The opportunity to see a Northem Right Whale off the coast of Canaveral National Seashore is rare. They are present from January to March, but the fact that there are about 300 left in the world lets us know that if we see one in our lifetime we are fortunate, indeed. Because of their rare occurrence and the possibility of separating a female and calf, we discourage anyone from approaching the whales by any means. There are no whale watching boat tours to try and spot the whales.

We must learn all we can about the Northern Right Whale. To date the Intemet has 350 pages of information on the Right Whales. If you have internet access visit them. On your navigator search, type the words Northern Right Whale.

Before coming to Canaveral National Seashore on a whale watching expedition, learn to identify the Northern Right Whale by sight. Canaveral National Seashore partnerships with the Marine Resource Council to provide talks and videos during the months of December-February to provide informative programs. Attend a Right Whale Program and learn to identify the whales' distinctive V-shaped blow, its deeply notched flukes, paddle shaped flippers and white patches of roughened skin "callosities" on it's head. You will leam to distinguish the difference between the Northern Right Whale and the other whales in the area. Call us at 321-867-4077 during this time for the schedule. Information will be posted on this Website and in local newspapers. We will help you prepare for your whale watching experience.

Visit Canaveral National Seashore during the winter months and bring your binoculars. Remember the opportunity to see a whale is extremely rare, but the Seashore is a wonderful place to visit in the winter. See migrating shore birds, watch for other wildlife, go beachcombing, surffishing or walk the secluded beach. The opportunities are endless. There are fewer, if any mosquitoes. There is plenty to do while you wait for that rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Northern Right Whale. Other whales and dolphin are in the area too. Bring a picnic lunch and come prepared to spend some time on a winter beach. It is new and different every day.

If you see the whale please don't try to approach it via surfboard or any other means. It is dangerous. The animals are huge and would not intend to hurt you. There may be infants present with mothers. They are protected and it is against the law to disturb or harass endangered wildlife. To disturb them in any way would stress a pregnant female or calf and separate a mother and baby. To loose even one Northern Right Whale is to great a loss. To see it is an experience you won't forget. If you see one in your lifetime the wait is worth it. Happy Whale Watching.


| CHARACTERISTICS | MIGRATION | NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE | SIZE AND FEEDING |
| CAUSES OF DEATH | WHAT CAN YOU DO? | TOP |



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