The good and bad; Georgia DNR provides updates on right whale activity in our area

The count for right whale calves is up to 19 total according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Wildlife Resources Division -- Georgia Department of Natural Resources has provided several updates on right whale activity from the Carolinas to Florida.


On a positive note, two new moms were seen last week with their calves for the first time. The Wildlife Resources Division documented Skittle (#3260) and Dog Ear (#3590), bringing the total number of North Atlantic right whale calves spotted to 19. This includes areas off the coast of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.

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Then there’s Juno.

Action News Jax reported at the beginning of the calving season that the female whale known as Juno (#1612) was spotted with her baby by Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute off the South Carolina coast in December. Georgia DNR said it was the first southeast mom and calf sighting of the season.

RELATED: Two new right whale calves spotted off the coast of Florida New Year’s Eve

However, almost a month later, on Jan. 10, 2024, the calf of Juno was found by fishermen to have suffered serious injuries. The latest update from Georgia DNR said the calf was still alive as of last week, though scientists remain concerned about its long-term health.

Finally, a year-old female was found dead off Savannah last week. She was born to Pilgrim (#4340) in 2023.

RELATED: Natural beauty! Two sightings of right whales remind us to be mindful of their important presence

“A necropsy found evidence of injuries consistent with the juvenile being hit by a vessel,” Georgia DNR said on their Facebook account.

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Just as there are no wake zones along portions of the intercoastal and other waterways for marine life including manatees, Georgia DNR reminds boaters to slow down off our coast from November to April. You can use the Whale Alert app to know if whales are possibly in the area and report sightings at 877-WHALE-HELP (877-942-5343) or via the Coast Guard on marine VHF channel 16.

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Joshua Jacobs, Action News Jax

Joshua Jacobs is a Content Creator/Coordinator for Action News Jax.