facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Endangered status urged for Hawaiian whale

Nov. 17, 2010 at 5:02 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The dwindling population of a whale in Hawaiian waters has led the Obama administration to propose classifying the species as endangered, environmentalists say.

The Hawaiian false killer whale has a small and ecologically important population that has suffered a significant decline over the last 25 years and only 150 of the animals may be left, a Natural Resources Defense Council release said Wednesday.

"The whales are losing their food, getting hooked on fishing lines and accumulating toxins at a rate that threatens their survival," Michael Jasny of the NRDC's Marine Mammal Project said.

"Protecting them will go a long way towards protecting the extraordinary marine environment of the Hawaiian Islands," he said.

Hawaiian false killer whales are large members of the dolphin family that can weigh up to 1,500 pounds.

Females can grow up to 15 feet and males can reach 20 feet.

The administration's decision comes one year after NRDC submitted a formal scientific petition to list the population.

If approved, the Hawaiian false killer whale would become only the fourth U.S. whale or dolphin population to be placed on the endangered species list since 1970.

Listing the whales as an endangered species would require the government to identify critical habitat for the population, ensure activities do not jeopardize its survival, and prepare a "recovery plan" to bring it back from endangered status, the NRDC said.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Earth's magnetic field may soon flip, according to new data Earth's magnetic field may soon flip, according to new data
2
Wisconsin shuts down three wolf hunting zones, two remain open Wisconsin shuts down three wolf hunting zones, two remain open
3
Deforestation in the Amazon has increased 190 percent, satellites show Deforestation in the Amazon has increased 190 percent, satellites show
4
Japanese man who 3D printed guns sentenced to two years in prison Japanese man who 3D printed guns sentenced to two years in prison
5
Soda drinkers may be slowly killing themselves Soda drinkers may be slowly killing themselves
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback