A badly injured and emaciated right whale swims off the coast of Jekyll Island in 2018. Injuries from ship strikes and fishing lines cause most right whale deaths.
Caption
A badly injured and emaciated right whale swims off the coast of Jekyll Island in 2018. Injuries from ship strikes and fishing lines cause most right whale deaths.
Credit: SEA TO SHORE ALLIANCE, TAKEN UNDER NOAA RESEARCH PERMIT 20556

Six endangered North Atlantic right whales died in June, four of them last week alone. This brings Georgia's official state marine mammal even closer to extinction. 

Researchers estimate that just 411 North Atlantic right whales remain. Six of them dying in one month — among them, three of breeding age — is significant. 

Clay George is among those monitoring the numbers. He's a wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. He joined On Second Thought to talk about threats to the dwindling population, how the Georgia coast figures in to their life cycle, and about the right whale itself.

 

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