Extinction threat looms over Right whales after deadly 2017
New Delhi : Right whales are on a verge to go extinct as only 450 are left alive after the death of 17 in the year 2017, say biologists of NOAA Fisheries.
Out of 17 killed, 12 right whales were found dead in the Canadian waters. Following deaths the federal agency formally launched a investigation in the matter.
Zoodsma said, "This is troubling for a population of about 450, particularly because we estimate that only about 105 of those are breeding females who are producing fewer calves."
NOAA officials said the female whales produced only 5 calves in 2017, whereas the number annually ranged from 5 to 17, with an average of 11.
Right whales are the rare species of whales which are majorly found in Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They have an average life span of 70 years but hunting and killing have become some major threat to their lives.
"We are very concerned about the future of North Atlantic right whales", said Barb Zoodsma, right whale biologist for NOAA Fisheries, said in a statement.
NOAA Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, John Bullard warned that there are very high chances of right whales getting extinct in near future if no necessary steps are taken to prevent them.
Bullard said, "It is getting worse almost by the day. This is a crisis."
The US and Canada officials are believed to be brainstorming on measures to protect the right whales.
North Atlantic right whales are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.