North Atlantic right whales may face extinction after no new births recorded
Declining fertility and rising mortality, exacerbated by fishery industry, prompts experts to caution whales could be extinct by 2040
The dwindling North Atlantic right whale population is on track to finish its spawning season without any new births, inspiring experts to warn again that without human intervention, the species will face extinction.
Scientists observing the whale community off the US east coast have not recorded a single mother-calf pair this winter. Last time discovered a record number of deaths in specific populations. Threats to the whales include entanglement in lobster angling ropes and an increasing struggle to find food in abnormally warm waters.
The combination of rising mortality and refusing birthrate is now to be considered as potentially catastrophic. There are estimated to be as few as 430 North Atlantic right whales left in the world, including merely 100 potential mothers.
” At the rate we are killing them off, this 100 girls will be gone in 20 years ,” said Mark Baumgartner, a marine ecologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Without activity, he cautioned, North Atlantic right whales will be functionally extinct by 2040.