(Mirror Daily, United States) Animals being constantly added to the list of endangered species is concerning authorities more and more. However, as they never cease their efforts of helping the animals, there are glitters of hope from time to time. One of them has recently been announced by officials, namely that humpback whales are no longer considered an endangered species.
The recent announcement holds valid only for some of the humpback whale populations. There are fourteen such groups around the world, and nine of them are considered to be safe, according to authorities in the field.
It has been more than thirty years since humpback whales have been considered highly endangered. Their numbers were decreasing because of severe whaling, an activity which was flourishing at the beginning of the 20th century. People would hunt the large marine animals for their oil and meat. However, authorities banned the activity in 1966. Before the law protected them, statistics showed that their number had dropped by an alarming percentage of ninety.
However, all the humpback whale populations in the world are still under federal protection. This means that ships must still keep a certain distance from the animals in specific areas, such as Hawaii and Alaska.
During the past few years, fishermen in Hawaii were able to witness the phenomena of the growing numbers of whales. They reported the constant sight of the animals on Hawaiian waters, which evidently suggested an increasing population.
Some of the populations who were able to recover spent the cold season in places such as Hawaii, the West Indies or Australia. Among their habits is that of feeding in Alaska waters during the summer, while winter is their breeding season in warmer waters.
The Western North Pacific whales are still on the list of endangered animals. There are barely one thousand individuals left in the world. There are also whales which spend their summer in cold waters in Alaska, and they are also considered to be threatened.
One of the biggest threat to marine animals, including humpback whales, is entanglement in fishing gear. Specialists in animal protection are aware of the situation.
Humpback whales don’t tend to live in groups. They bond most during the summer breeding season when they only feed on their fat. However, they bond with other marine species, such as dolphins or other whales. Humpbacks are also one of the few species that can fight against killer whales.
Image courtesy of: Flickr