The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species, with only about 400 animals remaining. In February 2019, NOAA conservation scientists, conducting aerial surveys to assess whale population and document new calves, captured this drone footage of a right whale mom, her calf, and some curious dolphins.
The NOAA team had a special permit allowing them to video the whale. In a statement, NOAA said:
While we appreciate the public’s enthusiasm and interest in right whales, we ask that you give these animals their space. This time of year, right whale moms are nursing their calves. The quiet bonding time is important for the newborn whales. It can be dangerous for both right whales and people to get too close to each other.
It is against the law to be within 500 yards of a right whale (that’s the length of five football fields). If you find yourself within 500 yards of a right whale, move away as soon as safely possible. This law includes vessels, aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones).
If you see a right whale in the wild, you can call NOAA at (877) WHALE-HELP.
Here’s a longer, unedited video:
Bottom line: Video of a right whale and her calf interacting with a group of dolphins.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.