BABYLON, N.Y. (AP) — Federal ocean officials say a whale found dead south of Long Island is a member of a declining, endangered species.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it received reports of a dead North Atlantic right whale floating four miles south of Fire Island Inlet off Long Island on Monday. The agency says the animal's carcass was extremely decomposed. NOAA can't provide details of its cause of death.
NOAA says it's the first observed right whale death in U.S. waters this year. Environmentalists and regulators in the U.S. and Canada have kept a watchful eye on the species in recent years, as they have suffered high mortality and poor reproduction. There are only about 400 of the whales remaining, and less than 100 of those are breeding females.