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Thursday, May 6, 2010

South America's 'Extreme' Right Whale Crisis

The last three years have seen lots of fatal beachings of endangered Southern Right Whales on the Argentine coast, according to this video report by Paul Byrne for globalpost. (Sorry, couldn't embed for some reason.) It says an uncanny 90 percent of the fatalities are calves.

A scientist working with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Andrea Chirife, calls it "the most extreme whale mortality event ever observed in the South Atlantic."

The culprit -- whether manmade or not -- is unclear. Right whales are notoriously slow-swimming and conspicuous, given their proclivity for the shallows and their acrobatics.

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