Western Gray Whale and extinction


nullCredit: Earthwatch Institute

Western Gray Whale

Although the International Whaling Commission banned the hunting of gray whales  in 1947, the Western Pacific population (Esrichtiius robustus) never recovered from unchecked whaling in the 19th and early 20th centuries: Out of the 100 western grays that remain, only 23 are reproductive  females. Their only known feeding ground off the northeastern coast of Sakhalin Island in Russia has since been annexed by oil companies whose exploration and  mining activities, including high-intensity seismic surveying, drilling  operations, increased ship and air traffic, and oil spills, are driving the 30-ton mammals to extinction.

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