ATLANTA (AP) — North Atlantic right whales have started their annual migration to calving grounds off the southeast coast.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources reports that a boater off Hilton Head, S.C., photographed the first mother and calf of the season on Nov. 27. The department has received other reports of right whale sightings off Georgia and Florida.
Wildlife officials planned to launch a plane Saturday to determine whether more whales were in the area.
The whales migrate this time of year to their only known calving area along the coast of Georgia, northern Florida and South Carolina.
Just seven calves were documented last winter and at least one of them died. The annual average over the past decade is closer to 20 calves.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)