After forty years, the initiative to preserve the humpback whale from extinction has been a success.
It’s been announced by NOAA Fisheries this week that the humpback whale population has recovered so well it’s now been taken off the endangered species list where it has been since 1970.
After centuries of whale hunting and a forty-year plan to raise numbers back, the humpback whale has finally recovered with some species even flourishing.
But according to National Geographic, not all species are doing so well. Five species of humpback whale is still struggling to get numbers up and still remain on the U.S. List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. There are fourteen species of humpback whale – the population in the southern hemisphere are doing particularly well but one population in the Arabian Sea is down to just 82 causing concern for marine biologists.
Marta Nammack, co-ordinator of the NOAA Fisheries’ national Endangered Species Act list, says it’s important to look at each humpback species individually due to different breeding grounds, locations and risks faced by each group.
“We may not be able to delist the entire species,” says Nammack, “but by dividing them up the way we did, we can see substantial progress for their recovery across a good portion of the species.”
Of course this doesn’t mean conservation now stops for the flourishing groups. Hunting will still continue to be banned and movements to be monitored assessing any dangers the whales could potentially face.
Celebrations are in order for the success of the initiative brought in almost forty years ago and the legislations brought forward in order for the species to be finally recovered from almost certain extinction.
For more information, you can visit the NOAA Fisheries website.