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Gray Whale Census Shows Population Is Doing Well Off Central, South Coasts

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(Gray Whales Count Photo)
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Gray Whale In Santa Barbara Channel

Just released census number for gray whales migrating off the Central and South Coasts show the largest numbers of adults and calves in a decade.

The non-profit organization Gray Whales County estimates that more than 1100 calves, and 4000 whales were part of the general migration, with a total of more than 6400 on the northbound trip. Volunteers staffed a counting post on the coast near UC Santa Barbara for a 100 day period from February to May.

The survey data is used by groups involved with whale research to try to assess the health of the population.

The whales migrate from off the coast of Alaska, where they feed to breeding grounds off of Mexico in the longest annual trek of any mammal.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.