News

Whale birth a long time coming

A SOUTHERN right whale is thought to have given birth right here on the Coffs Coast, in what scientists say is the species’ first known calving in NSW waters for 13 years.

The calf, which is believed to be only about a day old, has been spotted off Valla Beach by National Parks and Wildlife rangers.

“It’s a pretty rare event in NSW waters,” said National Parks ranger and whale researcher Geoff Ross.

“It’s the first one we know of in (more than) 12 years.”

Earlier this year two unusually large southern rights were observed off the coast of Sydney and according to Mr Ross, one of them would have undoubtedly been the pregnant female.

“I’m glad I didn’t know the female was a pregnant female or I would have felt like an expectant father.”

He said southern rights usually gave birth further south around the Great Australian Bight but it was not unheard of for them to calve off the NSW North Coast, with births even recorded in and around Sydney.

“What we might be seeing here is a re-exploration of those traditional calving grounds in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania,” he said.

Mr Ross says rangers could tell the calf was a newborn because it was still creased from its position in the uterus.

“We can tell a newly-born calf as they have creases on their tail which is folded when it’s inside the uterus. This young calf looked all prune-like.”

He said the calf’s birth was a sign whale conservation efforts in the area were having a positive impact on the population.

“It shows how safe they feel in those protected areas.

“It’s great to see that they are recovering after such a long period of slaughter.”

Whale-watchers may be able to spot the pair as they head south and the mother will try to keep her calf close to shore.



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Rally Australia buoyed by Coffs Harbour Council's support

Kennards Hire Rally Australia will bring spectacular world rally action back to the NSW Coffs Coast on November 17-20.

Rally endorsement makes headlines in Europe

Concert reaches out to children in need

Frontier Projects Haiti Journey Team 2015

Upcoming concert to help children living in earthquake-ravaged Haiti

VIDEO: Watch how council's rally vote unfolded

The Coffs Coast Advocate covers council decision on Rally, Pioneer Park, Woolgoolga Beach Holiday Park and more.

Coffs Advocate live from Coffs Council

Latest deals and offers


Rally Australia Chair Ben Rainsford

Kennards Hire Rally Australia will bring spectacular world rally action back to the NSW Coffs Coast on November 17-20.

Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford comments on Coffs Harbour City Council...

AFL North Coast preview

BACK IN THE FOLD: Grafton’s Josh Lollback returns to the line-up for today’s knockout semi final clash against Port Macquarie. Photo: Debrah Novak/Daily Examiner

Paul Taylor and Allanah Hanson take a look at the AFL North Coast news ahead of...

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Renting harder in Coffs than Sydney

HIGH DEMAND: Coffs Harbour rental properties are in higher demand than in Sydney.

Coffs Harbour’s rental vacancy rate at lowest level in eight years

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.