28 Jun '11, 2am

Right Whales Return to New Zealand After a Century

Before they were brought to near-extinction by whalers who considered them to be the best whale species to target -- hence the 'right' in their name -- southern right whales are thought to have numbered in the tens-of-thousands in the waters off New Zealand. In the decades that followed, however, the few surviving whales limited their calving grounds to the sub-antarctic regions to the south, despite the fact that closer to the New Zealand mainland had ancestrally been where they raised their young. But recently a team of researchers from the University of Auckland and New Zealand Department of Conservation made a remarkable discovery; right whales seemed to be heading home. "With the increase in numbers observed around the Auckland Islands over the last decade, we think that some individuals are re-discovering the former primary habitat around the mainland of New Zealand,...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/right-whales-retu...

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