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Canada's Species   Mammals

Right Whale

Balaena glacialis

Once common along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in summer, right whales are now a rare sight. Because it is a slow swimmer and because its body floats after death due to its massive blubber reserves, the right whale was hunted to near-extinction by the early part of the 20th century. Now, under international protection, right whale populations show only vague signs of regeneration. Right whales are now threatened by collisions with boats, entanglement in fish nets, disruption of natural behaviors and loss of habitat. Right whales are almost entirely black, although some individuals have white markings on their undersides. The eyes are located just above the corners of the mouth. Adult males are generally about 13.7 metres and females slightly larger, but rarely more that 16.5 metres.

Map of Right Whale in Canada
Distribution of Right Whale in Canada

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