According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are only 450 North Atlantic right whales left in the Atlantic Ocean. So, when scientists last year discovered no new calves migrating from breeding grounds with their mothers, they feared the worst for the species.
Luckily, there’s recent good news to celebrate.
Philip Hamilton, who maintains the catalog of North Atlantic right whales at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts, tells the New York Times that three newborn calves have been sighted in the first half of the breeding season, saying, “It’s a pause in the bad news.”
Between December and March, the whales are tracked on every clear weather day by two teams flying over the Atlantic coastline between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida.
You can learn more about the whales’ life cycle and the survival dangers they face each year by reading this New York Times article.