Biologists record one of the greatest recoveries in the animal kingdom. Almost before extinction, marine mammals that have been mass-commercially hunted have expanded in the order of thousands of percent over the past few decades. Scientists believe that we could save more species that are on the verge of extinction due to human activity.
About 300,000 humpback whales were killed from the late 17th century until the mid-19th century. In 1958, only 440 humpback whales remained in the western South Atlantic (WSA), according to 60-year-old calculations.
Last Minute Rescue
After the humpback population was estimated to be less than 500 individuals in the western South Atlantic, the competent authorities took action to protect these animals in the 1960s. The worldwide moratorium has significantly reduced whaling.
According to a new study published by the Royal Society Open Science, the number of whales has climbed to an incredible 24,900 individuals. Such a large population reportedly lived in Atlantic waters before commercial whaling.
Populations Are Growing
Scientists are enthusiastic and hope that more endangered species will recover.
Marine biologist Alexandre Zerbini of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who is the lead author of the Whale Recovery Study, said USA Today:
“I hope this serves as an example that we can do the same for other animal populations. I expected the recovery to be higher than we estimated in 2006 … but I did not expect the almost complete recovery we found. This is a clear example that if we do the right thing, the population will recover. “
According to NOAA data published in 2016, nine out of 14 known humpback populations have also recovered. The biggest boom, however, reached the whales from the western South Atlantic.
Nevertheless, the future of humpback whales is not entirely clear. Ongoing climate change, which causes huge heat waves, has a major impact on algae growth, which destroys the natural whale’s feed sources.
Source and credit: https://themindunleashed.com/2019/11/humpback-whales-recovery-extinction.html, pixabay.com