Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

South Atlantic Humpback Whales Have Rebounded From the Brink of Extinction

A new study estimates that the group's population has grown from 440 individuals in 1958 to nearly 25,000 today


November 21, 2019

Between the late 1700s and mid 1900s, hunters killed at least 300,000 humpback whales around the world. Some populations are still endangered because of their reduced size, but one humpback group in the western South Atlantic has undergone a remarkable recovery. A new study published in Royal Society Open Science estimates that humpbacks in this region now number 24,900-nearly 93 percent of their population size before they were hunted to the brink of extinction.

Western South Atlantic (WSA) humpbacks are one of seven Southern Hemisphere breeding groups recognized by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). They were, according to the study authors, "the first major target of commercial whaling in the Antarctic," and tens of thousands of WSA humpbacks were killed from the early 1800s onwards. By 1958, there were only around 440 individuals left.


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