SAVANNAH, Ga. — Scientists conducting a survey for the U.S. military say they photographed an endangered right whale giving birth near where the Navy plans to establish a training range off the coast of northern Florida.

Researchers said today it’s just the second time a live birth of the critically endangered whales has been documented. Experts estimate only about 400 still exist.

William McLellan, a University of North Carolina Wilmington research biologist, said the photos were taken Saturday during an aerial survey. His team was cataloging species in waters near a proposed range for submarine warfare training. The whale birth was outside of the proposed range.

Environmentalists say the Navy’s plans could pose a threat to right whales, which migrate from their feeding grounds in the Bay of Fundy to shallow waters off Georgia and Florida each winter to birth their calves.

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