Near

North Atlantic right whales, an already critically endangered species, have hit the lowest population numbers in nearly 20 years, researchers announced on Monday. The species has seen a sharp decline since around 2011 — and experts say, humans are largely to blame. 

Right Whales Spotted Close To Shore On Cape Cod Bay © David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Right Whales Spotted Close To Shore On Cape Cod Bay

The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium said that the whale's population dropped from an estimated 366 in 2019 to 336 in 2020, a decline of 8%. The group said this is the lowest population number for the species in nearly two decades.

In the past decade alone, researchers said, the species has declined by 30%. 

"We are obviously discouraged by this estimate, but quite frankly, not surprised," said Heather Pettis, associate scientist in the New England Aquarium's Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. "The right whale research and conservation communities know that while widespread efforts to change the trajectory of the species have been undertaken, they have not been enough."

Endangered orcas at risk from U.S. Navy, activists warn > CBS News See more videos "> See more videos > > > > > What to watch next
  • Tom Homan calls for impeachment of Biden, Mayorkas over border crisis Tom Homan calls for impeachment of Biden, Mayorkas over border crisis>

    Tom Homan calls for impeachment of Biden, Mayorkas over border crisis

    FOX News Logo FOX News
  • Tom Homan: Biden intentionally unsecured the border Tom Homan: Biden intentionally unsecured the border>

    Tom Homan: Biden intentionally unsecured the border

    FOX News Logo FOX News
  • Shifting demographics turn Nevada's Washoe County into key battleground Shifting demographics turn Nevada's Washoe County into key battleground>

    Shifting demographics turn Nevada's Washoe County into key battleground

    MSNBC Logo MSNBC
  • Gingrich warns Biden is lying about how Democrats will fund spending bill Gingrich warns Biden is lying about how Democrats will fund spending bill>

    Gingrich warns Biden is lying about how Democrats will fund spending bill

    FOX News Logo FOX News
  • Newt Gingrich says Terry McAuliffe doesn't believe he can win on 'Virginia issues' Newt Gingrich says Terry McAuliffe doesn't believe he can win on 'Virginia issues'>

    Newt Gingrich says Terry McAuliffe doesn't believe he can win on 'Virginia issues'

    FOX News Logo FOX News
  • WorldView: Protests in Sudan after military coup; U.S. blames Iran for drone attack WorldView: Protests in Sudan after military coup; U.S. blames Iran for drone attack>

    WorldView: Protests in Sudan after military coup; U.S. blames Iran for drone attack

    CBS News Logo CBS News
  • As workers trickle back into office, some hope to make the home office more permanent As workers trickle back into office, some hope to make the home office more permanent>

    As workers trickle back into office, some hope to make the home office more permanent

    MSNBC Logo MSNBC
  • Activists disrupt green finance summit in Paris Activists disrupt green finance summit in Paris>

    Activists disrupt green finance summit in Paris

    Reuters Logo Reuters
  • Report says January 6 organizers met with several members of Congress, White House officials Report says January 6 organizers met with several members of Congress, White House officials>

    Report says January 6 organizers met with several members of Congress, White House officials

    CBS News Logo CBS News
  • Tom Brady gave hat to 9-year-old cancer survivor. Hear from the boy Tom Brady gave hat to 9-year-old cancer survivor. Hear from the boy>

    Tom Brady gave hat to 9-year-old cancer survivor. Hear from the boy

    CNN Logo CNN
  • Ronna McDaniel: McAuliffe’s remark on education was ‘so offensive’ to Virginia parents Ronna McDaniel: McAuliffe’s remark on education was ‘so offensive’ to Virginia parents>

    Ronna McDaniel: McAuliffe’s remark on education was ‘so offensive’ to Virginia parents

    FOX News Logo FOX News
  • Ronna McDaniel slams Democrats over inflation, border crisis, and ‘insulting’ treatment of parents Ronna McDaniel slams Democrats over inflation, border crisis, and ‘insulting’ treatment of parents>

    Ronna McDaniel slams Democrats over inflation, border crisis, and ‘insulting’ treatment of parents

    FOX News Logo FOX News
  • Japan's former Princess Mako marries non-royal partner in subdued ceremony Japan's former Princess Mako marries non-royal partner in subdued ceremony>

    Japan's former Princess Mako marries non-royal partner in subdued ceremony

    CNN Logo CNN
  • Coronavirus vaccine mandates, education shape Virginia race for governor Coronavirus vaccine mandates, education shape Virginia race for governor>

    Coronavirus vaccine mandates, education shape Virginia race for governor

    FOX News Logo FOX News
  • Biden continues to push his domestic agenda as it faces crucial week on Capitol Hill Biden continues to push his domestic agenda as it faces crucial week on Capitol Hill>

    Biden continues to push his domestic agenda as it faces crucial week on Capitol Hill

    CBS News Logo CBS News
  • Sen. Warren: Democrats are looking for ways to un-rig the game Sen. Warren: Democrats are looking for ways to un-rig the game>

    Sen. Warren: Democrats are looking for ways to un-rig the game

    MSNBC Logo MSNBC
> > > > >
  • Tom Homan calls for impeachment of Biden, Mayorkas over border crisis Tom Homan calls for impeachment of Biden, Mayorkas over border crisis> Tom Homan calls for impeachment of Biden, Mayorkas over border crisis Fox News contributor Tom Homan says the Mexican government helped more to secure the border during the Trump administration than the Democratic-led Congress. FOX News Logo FOX News
  • Tom Homan: Biden intentionally unsecured the border Tom Homan: Biden intentionally unsecured the border> Tom Homan: Biden intentionally unsecured the border Former acting ICE director Tom Homan says former President Trump created the most secure border the United States has ever had and President Biden undid it within days of taking office. FOX News Logo FOX News
  • Shifting demographics turn Nevada's Washoe County into key battleground Shifting demographics turn Nevada's Washoe County into key battleground> Shifting demographics turn Nevada's Washoe County into key battleground As part of NBC News and Meet The Press' ''County to County' series, NBC News Correspondent Guad Venegas reports from Washoe County, Nev., where he digs into the growing latino community there, and how the shifting demographics in the area have changed the county's voting pattern. Chuck Todd joins José Díaz-Balart to discuss the reporting project. MSNBC Logo MSNBC
UP NEXT UP NEXT

This whale species, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), is one of the "world's most endangered large whale species." They have been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1970. 

Loading...

Load Error

Scott Kraus, chair of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, pointed to humans for the decline, saying, "there is no question that human activities are driving this species toward extinction." 

Researchers specifically pointed to the impact that the fishing industry has had on the whales. The New England Aquarium said in a press release that vessel strikes and fishing gear entanglements are the "biggest threats" to the species. According to the aquarium's own research, 86% of identified right whales have been entangled in fishing gear at least once. 

Climate change is also a contributing factor to the species' decline. One study published in August found that the warming temperatures created a "less favorable foraging environment." Essentially, researchers found, global warming is one reason the whales are forced to migrate to more dangerous areas so that they can eat. The areas that they have moved to, researchers found, have fewer protections in place to prevent vessel strikes and fishing entanglements.

So far this year, there have been at least two documented North Atlantic right whale deaths, the New England Aquarium said. One of the whales was hit by a recreational fishing boat in calving grounds off of Florida in February. The other had been "entangled and emaciated." 

The aquarium said that the overall number of documented mortalities this year is low, which is "encouraging," but that typically just 36% of right whale mortalities are detected. 

The aquarium also noted research published in Current Biology this June that shows the size of right whales has decreased over the past 40 years. Researchers found entanglements in fishing gear and other incidents are stunting the species' growth, with adults reaching a full-grown length of about three feet shorter than one born in 1980. The calves of whale mothers that were entangled are also smaller, researchers found. 

Still, Kraus said, the right whales are "an incredibly resilient species," and he expects they can make a comeback given adequate help. So far this year, researchers have tracked 18 mother-calf right whale pairs, which they say is "cause for optimism," despite it being below the annual average of 23 pairs.

"No one engaged in right whale work believes that the species cannot recover from this," Kraus said. "They absolutely can, if we stop killing them and allow them to allocate energy to finding food, mates, and habitats that aren't marred with deadly obstacles." 

Researchers say that saving the species will require bolder and more immediate action, echoing calls from 2017 that warned the species could become extinct if such action doesn't take place.

"We as humans have put these whales in the predicament they are in, and we have the ability to help them out of it," Pettis said. "Broad collaboration and a long-term commitment to ensuring this species' survival is required and urgent actions to prevent entanglements and collisions with vessels must be implemented."

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/north-atlantic-right-whale-population-hits-nearly-20-year-low/ar-AAPYnD4

5411
Population of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales hits near 20-year low — and humans are largely to blame

Source:CBS News on MSN.com

Population of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales hits near 20-year low — and humans are largely to blame

Vaccine maker plans massive investment in plant near BWI in Maryland to produce even more therapies

Source:The Baltimore Sun

Vaccine maker plans massive investment in plant near BWI in Maryland to produce even more therapies

GRAINS-Wheat lingers near 2-month high on USDA crop condition report

Source:Nasdaq

GRAINS-Wheat lingers near 2-month high on USDA crop condition report