Good news! Blue whales are returning home!
We have big news for you. And we mean roughly 330,000 lbs and 80ft big news.
The largest animal ever to have lived on earth, the Blue Whale, is making a splashing surprise.
They’re headed towards full recovery mode! And so are humpbacks and other whales in the southern hemisphere. These wonderful creatures had virtually disappeared from the region by the time whaling was banned in 1967. In 1930 - 1931, more than 29,000 blue whales had been killed worldwide. Today, their numbers are estimated somewhere between 10,000 and 25,000 animals. According to the last official estimate in 1997, the Antarctic area had approximately 2,280 individuals.
For decades, researchers had only records for one or two sightings of the species. Yet now, the latest survey conducted by scientists in the UK sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia has counted 55 of the magnificent mammals. It’s a truly unprecedented number.
Cetacean specialist Dr. Trevor Branch from the University of Washington, Seattle was quoted by the BBC as saying, “All of the Southern Hemisphere whale species —the populations for which we have data - are increasing.”
“It's such good news to see that they might be further rebounding and coming back to places where they were formerly extremely abundant,” said Dr. Branch.
Scientists say it’s because of efforts made to keep the species and their natural habitat safe from the disruptions of hunting. While they are still an endangered species, the decades-long effort to protect the whales is working.
We can’t wait to see more in the future.