Are Whales Under Threat of Extinction?

There are not enough success stories regarding wildlife preservation, but the whale conservation campaigns that were introduced in the 1960s most certainly saved many whale species from extinction. So successful have the whale hunting bans been, that many species that were on the verge of extinction are now enjoying steadily growing numbers.

The Polar Regions

Whales roam the oceans and they use both the North and South Pole regions, where there are rich krill deposits that they feed on, and the Humpback Whale was once critically endangered, but now the status has changed to endangered, which is a good sign that their numbers are increasing. If you are ever in Sydney, whale watching is a must, as you can get a close-up view of Humpbacks as they travel to and from their Antarctic feeding grounds. From May to November is the best time to book a whale watching excursion out of Sydney, and with experienced skippers, you can be sure of a front row seat when the whales perform their surface tricks.

Antarctic Blue Whale

This species is still officially classed as critically endangered, although recent surveys suggest the population is growing, and the Blue Whale can reach lengths of 110ft, which is the length of 3 buses. In the past few years, major shipping routes have been amended to give Blue Whales more space when migrating, as it is believed that propeller blades have killed many whales and especially young ones.

Southern Right Whale

Of all the whale species, the Southern Right has enjoyed the most success, going from critically endangered to least concern, which is a real success story. The Southern Right Whales pass Sydney and Brisbane as they make their way up to Queensland, where they have their young, and you can book a whale watching trip if you would like to observe these whales as they migrate to and from the Antarctic.

Antarctic Minke Whale

This is a small species that we almost lost, thanks to whale hunting, and its status is now ‘threatened’, which is a big improvement over critically endangered. This small whale measures around 30-35ft long and normally frequents the same waters as the Humpback and Southern Right Whales, and numbers are on the rise.

Of course, there are many whale species, but generally speaking, numbers are rising globally, as the banning of whaling allows the whales to raise their young in peace, and hopefully, we will one day see all whale species in abundant numbers.

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