Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Genetic Study Pursues Elusive Goal: How Many Humpbacks Existed Before Whaling?

Feb. 13, 2013 — Scientists from Stanford University, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and other organizations are closing in on the answer to an important conservation question: how many humpback whales once existed in the North Atlantic?
Photo: Salvatore Cerchio/Wildlife Conservation Society.

Building on previous genetic analyses to estimate the pre-whaling population of North Atlantic humpback whales, the research team has found that humpbacks used to exist in numbers of more than 100,000 individuals. The new, more accurate estimate is lower than previously calculated but still two to three times higher than pre-whaling estimates based on catch data from whaling records.

Known for its distinctively long pectoral fins, acrobatics, and haunting songs, the humpback whale occurs in all the world's oceans. Current estimates for humpback whale numbers are widely debated, but some have called for the level of their international protection to be dropped.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails