Southern right whales have begun giving birth in the waters around New Zealand. Beginning in the 1920’s, none frequented waters around the New Zealand mainland, after an intensive decade of hunting in the 1800’s decimated populations. In the 1990’s, a few scattered sightings began, and in recent years, females and calves are started utilizing sheltered bays. According to Emma Carroll of Auckland University, the whales appear to have lost the knowledge that New Zealand was a valuable winter and calving habitat, but the early exploratory trips by individual whales seems to have led to it being “rediscovered.”
Ironically, considering the growing concern over the impacts of human noise on whales worldwide, early settlers in Wellington complained that whales in the harbor there kept them awake at night! How the times have changed….