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North Atlantic Right Whale Adoption Program 
24 Route 776, Grand Manan, NB E5G 1A1  Canada

506 662 9804

506 662 3804  (leave your name and number)

(Canadian Funds)




Donations are tax deductible in Canada


The adoption certificate (suitable for framing) is sent in a portfolio and includes the adoptee(s) name(s).  Each has a photo of the individual whale or matriarch of the family or photos of mother/calf pair.  A Family Tree is also included when adopting a family.  The portfolio will also include information about the adoptive whale(s), North Atlantic right whales and the research station.  A postcard, magnet or bookmark will also be included.

CLASS PROJECTS.  Personalized individual business-size cards can be included for each student as well as a class certificate.  An age-appropriate activity will also be included.

An update on the whales will be sent annually.  To continue receiving this newsletter an annual donation of $15 is required or other right whales can be adopted.

The Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station (GMWSRS) is a registered charity in Canada incorporated in 1981 by its founder, the late Dr. David Gaskin. 

Dr. Gaskin

We are dedicated to research and education which promote conservation of the marine environment.  Our researchers study seabirds and marine mammals in the lower Bay of Fundy, Canada, and develop/deliver education and stewardship programs through a natural history museum, invited lectures, publications, specific projects, a web site and outdoor exhibits.

Funding for this web site is from the Government of Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk

and donations to the GMWSRS. 

The North Atlantic Right Whale

With an estimated population size of about 400, the North Atlantic right whale is one of the world's most endangered large whale.  Named by early whalers as the "right whale" to kill, this species was an easy target as it often stayed near the coast, was slow moving and floated when dead.

Right whales travel from Florida to Iceland in the Western North Atlantic with a number of critical habitats recognized along the way including the calving area off Florida and Georgia, and feeding areas in Cape Cod Bay, Great South Channel,  Gulf of Maine, the Bay of Fundy, and Scotian Shelf.  Some right whales are also seen in more northerly locations such as the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland.   Little is known about the present day range in the Eastern North Atlantic, however, the Bay of Biscay was the location of the first commercial whaling beginning hundreds of years ago and right whales ranged north to Spitzbergen.

Even though these whales have been protected from whaling since 1935, their population has shown no significant signs of recovery. It has been suggested that this may be due to a number of factors including:
• Deaths caused by collisions with ships
• Deaths caused by fishing gear entanglements
• Degradation & loss of habitat
• Inbreeding due to low population numbers
• Low reproductive rates

Combined, these have left the Right Whale in a very compromised position.

right whale "Radiator" with healed prop scars
Right whale "Radiator" with healed propellor cuts on his back.  Not all right whales die when struck - some carry the scars for the rest of their lives. Photo: Laurie Murison


By symbolically adopting a North Atlantic right whale you can help us try to resolve these problems. Adopt an individual whale, a mother/calf pair, or a whole family for yourself, as a gift for family and friends, as a memoriam, or for your classroom or group.  The tax deductible adoption fee will go towards costs for right whale research, conservation and education programs including:

  • co-operating in a whale disentanglement network in the Bay of Fundy, tracking entangled whales to hopefully remove entangling fishing lines.
  • analysis of faecal material for lipids to determine efficiency of digestion. Faecal material floats briefly at the surface and can be collected with a fine mesh net.  Remains from digestion of the tiny zooplankton can then be analyzed.
  • using small hand held computers linked to Global Positioning System units to record sightings of right whales seen during whale watches.  Whale watchers are often out for a longer period of time, in slightly harsher weather and cover a larger area than dedicated right whale researchers who work with limited budgets and therefore concentrate their effort in areas that will be most productive.
  • working closely with whale watchers to continue adherence to a voluntary Code of Ethics and providing as much information as possible for them in the promotion of stewardship of right whales.
  • developing a Code of Conduct for fishermen to help them make informed decisions when fishing if right whales are present.

Who can we adopt?  We've added new whales!

Calvin #2223                                      Misstip #1156
   Right whale adult male Misstip

Kleenex #1142                            Baldy #1240

Wart #1140                                  Catspaw #1632

Right Whale adult female Wart        Right whale female Catspaw

Gemini #1150                 ;    

 Right Whale adult male Gemini                     

Calves and their Mothers:
Hobbes, 2005 calf of Calvin #2223

Drippy-nose (AKA Sonnet) #1123, 1981 calf of Kleenex #1142 

Bugs #1241, 1982 calf of Baldy #1240 

Resolution #3532, 2005 calf of Catspaw #1632
Resolution and Catspaw in 2005

Family Tree of Baldy #1240 
Family Tree of Kleenex #1142
Family Tree of Slash #1303
Family tree of Wart #1140
Right whale Wart #1140
Family tree of Misstip #1156
Right whale Misstip's family tree
Family tree of Gemini #1150
Right whale Gemini's Family Tree

The Whales

In Memory. It is with great sadness that Slash has been removed from our symbolic adoption because she was discovered dead March 17, 2011, off the coast of Virginia. Her carcass wasn't recovered but it is suspected that she died from a vessel strike.

Calvin #2223: Calvin was born in 1992 to Delilah #1223. At 8 months, Calvin was weaned prematurely when her mother was struck by a ship and killed in the Bay of Fundy. Against all odds, she survived without her mother. In 2000 Calvin was found entangled in fishing gear. Luckily the gear was successfully removed in 2001. Despite a rough start she has now matured and has given birth to her first calf, Hobbes, in 2005 and a second calf in 2009.

Kleenex #1142:  Kleenex was first seen with a calf in 1977. In 1991 she became a grandmother when her daughter Drippy-nose #1123 gave birth to her first calf. In 2001 she became a great-grandmother when her daughter's first calf gave birth. Today Kleenex has one of the biggest families with 7 calves, 5 grandcalves and 3 great-grandcalves.

(Drippy-Nose is also known as Sonnet in the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalogue)

Baldy #1240:  Baldy was first seen in 1974 near Long Island, New York, with her first known calf. In 1982, she gave birth to her second known calf, Bugs #1241. In 1989 she became a grandmother when Bugs gave birth to her first calf. Now Baldy has a total of 8 calves, 9 grandcalves and 1 great-grand calf

Catspaw #1632:  Catspaw is an adult female and was first seen in 1986.  After a long absence, she reappeared in 2000 and had her first calf in 2002, #3232, followed by another in 2005. #3532, and a third in 2008.  In 2005, Catspaw was the first right whale mother to be seen giving birth to her calf, Resolution.

Wart #1140: Wart was first identified in 1981 and is an adult female with a large family of six calves, eight grand-calves and one great grand-calf.  She was recently entangled in fishing line.   One of her sons, Shackleton, travelled up the Delaware River in 1994 after separating from Wart.  He carries scars from being hit by a tug boat but did eventually find his way back to the ocean.

Misstip #1156:  Misstip is and adult male and was first seen in 1981.  Misstip is missing both of his fluke tips. He has  six calves and two grand-calves.  Two of his calves have the same mother, Shenandoah #1266 and are full siblings.  Misstip also has a male calf with Bugs #1241.

Gemini #1150:  Gemini is an adult male and has three calves and four grand-calves.  His name comes from a pair of scars on his back reminiscent of the constellation Gemini or the Twins.  Gemini is the father of Baldy's #1240 male calf #2140 .

What do the numbers mean?  The catalogue of recognizable individual North Atlantic right whales was started in 1980 by the New England Aquarium using techniques developed by Roger Payne and his research group  Payne's group discovered that each southern right whale had a recognizable pattern of rough patches of skin (callosities) on their heads.  North Atlantic right whales also are uniquely marked. 

For the catalogue, each right whale is assigned a number which is a basic reference code.  The first two digits correspond to the year they were added to the catalogue.  The first number refers to a decade 1 = 1980s, 2 = 1990s, 3 = 2000s, 4 = 2010s, the second number to the year in that decade e.g. 12 = 1982, 26 = 1996, 34 = 2004.  The last two numbers are the code number for the whales added in that year.  In some instances, the calves have the same last numbers as their mothers as with Calvin and Delilah, #2223 and #1223.

Why don't they have names instead of numbers?  It is often easier to relate to a name than a number but in some ways it is easier to keep track of a system of numbers, particularly when dealing with computers and processing data.  Think of all the different numbers you are known by - driver's licence, credit cards, birth certificate, etc.  But some right whales do have names such as those here.  The names usually refer to a marking or feature of the whale which makes it easier to remember the whale.  In the next few years, all right whales will be given names.  This naming process is being coordinated by the New England Aquarium.

| GMWSRS Home Page | Ship Strikes | Entanglement | Genetics | Habitat | Range Map |
| Adoption Program |
The Whales | Links | Who has been adopted? | Adoption Blog | en français |
| Right Whale Steward Program |

© 2007 - 2010
 Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station Inc.

24 Route 776, Grand Manan, NB Canada E5G 1A1
Ph. 506 662 3804    Fax 506 662 9804

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Revised December 18th 2011