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A North Atlantic right whale as it feeds on the surface of Cape Cod Bay off the coast of Plymouth, Mass., March 28, 2018.

Michael Dwyer/The Associated Press

A new marine robot will be used to help monitor and protect endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The underwater glider is part of a fleet of gliders operated by the Ocean Tracking Network and Dalhousie University in connection with a $3.6-million project spanning the next five years.

The University of New Brunswick and Transport Canada are also partners.

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Fred Whoriskey of the Ocean Tracking Network says the newest glider will carry a hydrophone that can identify the calls of the right whales and report their locations in order to prevent ships from colliding with the animals.

Scientists estimate there are fewer that 400 of the whales left in existence.

Whoriskey says he believes his team’s research, which includes analyzing the animals’ movements, will help the species bounce back.

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