28 Sep 2009:
U.S. May Remove Humpbacks
From List of Endangered Species
The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service
may remove the humpback whale from its list of endangered species
, citing evidence that the species has rebounded from near extinction. Since an international ban on their whaling
in 1966, populations of the north Pacific humpback have increased about 4.7 percent each year, researchers say. An estimated 18,000 to 20,000 humpbacks now exist in the north Pacific, a
A humpback breaches
sharp increase from the 1960s, when populations had dropped to about 1,400. About 60,000 humpbacks exist globally, according to the Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature. “Humpbacks by and large are an example of a species that in most places seems to be doing very well, despite our earlier efforts to exterminate them,” said Phillip Clapham, a senior whale biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. must review the status of endangered species whenever there is “significant” new information, and this is the first time the humpback’s status has been reviewed since 1999. Some groups object to lifting the endangered status of the humpback, citing climate change and ocean acidification as emerging threats to the species.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.