Humpback Whale No Longer Near Extinction

December 5, 2019

Credit: Mark Wong / iStock / Getty Images Plus


A new study conducted at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences reveals that population of humpback whales in the South Atlantic has increased from about 450 to over 25,000. A population that is close to pre-whaling numbers. This is thanks, in part, to protections put on the species, and whaling in general, in the 1960s.

A study done between 2006 and 2015 by the International Whaling Commission found the population had recovered to about 30% of its pre-exploitation numbers. The new study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science provides more accurate information on catches, life-history, and genetics.

Alex Zerbini, lead author of the study says it shows that, "wildlife populations can recover from exploitation if proper management is applied.”