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Humpback whales spotted off Russia’s Arctic archipelago for first time

September 02, 2015, 18:38 UTC+3 ARCHANGELSK
The northward movement of humpback whales is most likely explained with favorable development of their population and subsequent expansion of the habitat, a Russian expert said
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© AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file

ARCHANGELSK, September 2. /TASS/. A group of endangered humpback whales has been detected near Franz Josef Land archipelago for the first time, the Russian Arctic national park deputy head, Maria Gavrilo, told TASS on Wednesday.

"It was the first time humpback whales were spotted off the Franz Josef Land coast since its discovery in 1873," Gavrilo said. "I wouldn’t link this with global warming. The northward movement of humpback whales is most likely explained with favorable development of their population and subsequent expansion of the habitat."

Humpback whales are 13-14 meters long and weigh nearly 300 metric tons. Their population was almost destroyed by whale hunting banned in 1986.

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