Friday, October 2, 2009

Humpback Whales

Humpback Whales might leave the endangered species list. The current population is up to around 20 000 up from about 1400 in 1960.

This shows a pretty common trend in modern times, which explains why many environmental trends won't be as bad as we expect. First we hunt something almost to extinction, not realizing that there is even a real chance of us doing so. Then we realize what we have done, make reasonable laws, than the species comes bounding back. Just off the top of my head I can think of a whole bunch of examples of this: White Tail Deer, Elephant Seals, American Bison, Wild Turkeys, American Alligators, Mountain Lions, Grey Whales, Wolves in Yellowstone. All were brought to low numbers, many almost brought to extinction and now are quite common. Of course we always take the risk of creating another passenger pigeon when we do this. But a lot more species will bounce back than is generally acknowledged.

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