30 Dec '13, 6pm

Humpback whales could be removed from endangered species list in 2014

After being almost hunted to extinction, Humpback whales were added to the U.S. list of endangered species in 1988. Adults can be 40-50 feet long and weigh around 80,000lbs! They are a baleen whale, which means that they filter their food with baleen plates rather than eat it with teeth. North Pacific humpback whales came particularly close to extinction, with an estimated population of just 1,500 before the whaling ban took place. Since then, they went from "endangered" to "vulnerable" in 1996, and with a current population estimated around 18,000-20,000, some are calling for the species to be removed from the protection list altogether. On one hand, it's a victory. Efforts by conservationists have helped the species rebound to a more viable population. But on the other hand, any decision about removal from the US endangered species list must be taken very carefully. A pr...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/endangered-species/humpback-wha...

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