Right whale mother-and-calf pairs spotted off Fla.

Published On: Dec 12 2012 11:41:04 AM EST
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -

Florida wildlife officials say they've spotted the first mothers and calves of the right whale calving season.

Right whales are an endangered species. Conservationists are hoping for a rebound in births after the number of newborn whales hit a 10-year low last winter.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the first mother-and-calf pairs were spotted Dec. 4 in the Atlantic Ocean off northeast Florida. One pair was spotted near the entrance to the St. Johns River. The other was seen about a dozen miles off Amelia Island.

Experts estimate as few as 400 North Atlantic right whales remain. Female right whales migrate each winter to the warmer waters off Georgia and Florida to give birth.

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