Humpback whales have long been considered an endangered species have having been the target of whalers for so many years, but a new announcement from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) brings some great news.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
At least nine major humpback whale population regions around the world, out of an estimated fourteen, are making significant comebacks in their numbers. These details suggest that conservation efforts over the last four decades to prevent whaling and other activities that could harm their existence are paying off.
Because only nine of the fourteen are making improvements, and not all of them, it’s a little bit of a gray area in terms of whether or not humpback whales are still considered an endangered species. Nevertheless, the improvements to their population are an important step in the right direction.
For what it’s worth, at least those nine regions can be considered plentiful enough to warrant the “no longer endangered” claim, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And those regions change depending on the time of the year because whales migrate.
In what the NOAA’s Eileen Sobeck calls a, ecological success story, she says, “Whales, including the humpback, serve an important role in our marine environment. Separately managing humpback whale populations that are largely independent of each other allows us to tailor conservation approaches for each population.”
It’s worth talking about the other side of the claim too; as only nine of the fourteen regions are seeing improvements to humpback whale populations, some regions surrounding Africa, California, Central America, China and India are still considered endangered and are in need of protection if we are to take the entire species off of the endangered list.
Additional conservation efforts may lead these still-endangered regions in the right direction too.