GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - GDNR
I’m a wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, based in Brunswick, Georgia, USA. Each winter, pregnant North Atlantic right whales migrate south to the Georgia coast to birth and nurse their calves. For over 15 years we have been collecting skin samples from newborn calves while they are on the calving grounds with their mothers. These samples allow Dr. Frasier and his team to determine the calf’s sex, age, and often, their parentage. When combined with photo-ID sighting histories, this detailed information improves the precision of population models, which are critical for ongoing efforts to save this imperiled species.