Some Good Environmental News For Once – Marine Mammals are on the Rebound

Southern right whale

I’ve posted a lot of doom and gloom stories about the environment in recent months, including reports of warming oceans, increased greenhouse gasses, and the breaking up of massive ice slabs in the Antarctic. Well, for once, we have some good news to report as a new study indicates that marine life on the endangered species list is actually on the rebound.

According to a report from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Endangered Species Act is having its intended consequences. The organization says that in recent studies a growing number of marine species that are protected by the law have begun to see their population numbers grow as a result. That conclusion came after researchers looked at 23 different marine mammals and nine types of sea turtles to discover the health of the species. What the found was that 78% of the creatures studied saw steady population growth since being placed on the endangered species list.

According to the study, humpback whale numbers along the West Coast of the U.S. have risen to numbers not seen in decades, while sea otters, manatees, and sea turtles have also seen significant gains in recent years as well. In fact, the longer those creatures remain on the list, the better they are doing. Those that are protected for 20 or more years have shown that their population numbers will indeed rebound and recover.

There are obviously still challenges that these species face, but this report is definitely encouraging. It indicates that despite overfishing by man, pollution in their waterways, climate change, and the encroachment on their habitats, these animals can adapt to the situation. That bodes well for the future not only for these creates, but for others who are endangered as well. It is also a good indication that when we as humans take steps to protect the environment and the world around us, we can have a positive impact.

Thanks to Adventure Journal for sharing this story.

Kraig Becker