Although as of 2014 humpback whales are no longer listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, major threats to their populations include fishing gear entanglement, collisions by ships, impacts on their habitats from pollution and harassment by whale watchers. Future threats include proposed resumption of commercial whale hunting and offshore development of oil and gas mining facilities.Continue Reading
Extensive commercial hunting of humpback whales, which began in the 18th century and carried on into the 20th century, severely depleted global humpback whale populations, especially after the introduction of the explosive harpoon in the late 19th century. In the 20th century alone, whalers killed over 200,000 humpbacks, until the population dropped to approximately 700 whales. The International Whaling Commission was founded in 1946 to protect worldwide whale populations, and in 1966 it banned the hunting of humpback whales. In 1986, humpback whales were declared Endangered by the IUCN. In 1990, their status was changed to Vulnerable. Because of their resiliency in re-establishing themselves with a worldwide population of at least 80,000, the IUCN reclassified humpback whales in the category of Least Concern as of 2008.
As of 2014, commercial hunting of humpback whales is still banned, except by small native groups in areas such as Greenland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Humpback whale deaths through entanglement in fishing gear are reported annually by U.S. and Japanese fishermen. Ship strikes, though less frequent, occur. Conservationists are concerned about offshore oil and gas development affecting whale populations in places such as Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Madagascar and Gabon.Learn more about Marine Mammals
Tigers are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, a global organization that researches wildlife populations and grants endangered status. As of 2010, there are approximately 3,000 tigers left in the wild.Full Answer >
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources notes that Chinese water deer are threatened by poaching and destruction of their natural habitats. Chinese water deer are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, one classification better than endangered. This species does not respond well to environmental changes, which are ongoing and seemingly out of control, resulting in a projected 30 percent population loss over 18 years.Full Answer >
Whales are mammals that have an incredibly size range, yet all whales fall between 13 feet long and 90 feet long. The blue whale, the largest known whale or mammal, ranges from around 70 feet to 90 feet. Most other well-known whales, such as the orca, sperm, humpback and minke whale, fall in a range of 20 to 69 feet.Full Answer >
Blue whales are the largest whales. They are 100 feet long and weigh more than 200 tons. The heart of a blue whale is the size of an automobile, and the tongue weighs about as much as an elephant.Full Answer >