PROVINCETOWN, Mass. — Researchers say a group of North Atlantic right whales have returned to Cape Cod Bay.

The Center for Coastal Studies tells the Cape Cod Times researches spotted 14 right whales near Cape Cod during its first survey this year. The center’s right whale ecology program director, Charles Mayo, says the sightings signal a “terrific start to the season.” Mayo says normally only a few whales would be seen this early in the year.

Cape Cod Bay is an important feeding habitat.

North Atlantic right whales are among the rarest marine mammals in the world. Researchers say there are fewer than 450 whales left.

Vessel-strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are two frequently cited causes of the whales’ deaths. Last year’s high mortality rates coincided with a period of poor reproduction.


Information from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, http://www.capecodtimes.com

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