Whales (females are called cows) are generally pregnant for about a year and usually deliver one baby (calf) tail-first, so they can quickly reach the surface for air, each season. There have been records of whales with more than one fetus, but usualy only one is born. Since nursing then continues for many months and sometimes more than a year and the mother must protect the calves from predators, they can probably only care for 1 calf at a time.
The larger species of whales have a very low reproductive rate. Most whale mothers can only have one calf every 2-4 years. Because of this slow rate, recovery of lost whale populations can take decades, even up to a century, and that’s only under the best possible conditions.
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