Somethings Going Right!

We do hear a lot about the negatives in conservation. What’s going wrong, which species are not recovering and how we are contributing to that! This is all very important, we need to share and publicise the areas that require our attention and need to be focused on.

However, in the news recently has been a brilliant success sorry and sometimes we need positives and successes to keep us going, to know that what we are doing works and that we are making a difference.

So this latest and greatest success story is that the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). This whale is the most endangered of all the large or “great” whales (Blue, Fin, Sei, Bryde’s, Bowhead, Humpback, Gray, Minke, Sperm and Right Whales). Having been greatly impacted by whaling both historic and modern its numbers dwindled with the numbers of individuals in the population being as low as 300 when monitoring began over three decades ago.

Following the moratorium (1986) on whaling this species has been at risk from two main threats affecting its recovery. These are (1) Ship Strikes and (2) Entanglement in Fishing Gear. The Bay of Fundy, Canada and Cape Cod Bay, USA which are critical habitat areas for North Atlantic right whales are also where there exists a large risk from these two threats for this species.

North Atlantic Right Whale Skim Feeding (Photo Credit: NOAA/NEFSC)

The good news however is that now more than 500 individuals have been recorded in the latest census. This is absolutely amazing and a massive bounce back from being close to the brink of extinction.

How has this happened?