Monitoring of rare whales near NY harbor ends

Mar 15, 2009
In this January 5, 2009 handout photo provided by the Marine Right Whale Project, a female right whale calf is seen off the Jacksonville coast. A month later she was spotted SE of Brunswick, Ga., entangled in fishing gear. Researchers believe that two Navy sonar project in the whale's habitat will further endanger the survival of the 300-350 remaining in the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Marine Right Whale Project, HO)

(AP) -- Monitoring for endangered right whales off New York harbor is ending because the project has lost financing in the current budget crunch.

Acoustic monitoring by Cornell scientists shows the rare right swimming off the , where federal officials have recently lowered ship speed limits to help protect the slow-moving during migrations from Florida to New England and Canada.

Officials say monitors that have recorded the whales' calls south of Long Island for a year are not being replaced.

Biologists estimate 300 to 400 remain, having been fished to commercial a century ago and vulnerable now to ship collisions and entanglement in .

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On the Net:

http://www.listenforwhales.org/

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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