Hope for Humpbacks, Bad News for Bees

Nine North American populations of humpback whales have been taken off the endangered species list, while seven species of bees find themselves added to the list.

Published October 12, 2016

Humpback whales have been listed on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) endangered species list since its establishment in 1973. Now, more than 40 years later, experts from NOAA are removing nine of the 14 humpback whale populations in North American waters from the list, citing international conservation efforts as the main reason for the species’ recovery.humpback-whale-breach

These majestic whales are best known for their acrobatic breaches and beautiful songs. Scientists believe the intention of their music—often sung by males and lasting up to 20 minutes—is to attract a mate.

While this is tremendous news for humpback whales, seven species of yellow-faced bees landed on the list this month. These bees are the only species native to Hawaii, meaning they initially found their way to the island early in their evolution.yellow-faced-bee-on-flower

Once found throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the bee populations have diminished. The introduction of nonnative plant species, habitat destruction and natural disasters, such as tsunamis and droughts, have nearly destroyed their populations. The bees’ new place on the list brings attention to their importance and new urgency for their continued protection.

Listen to a humpback’s song and learn more about these amazing animals here. Read more about the protection of bees here

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Atlantic puffin chick born at the National Aquarium Meet Our Trio of Puffin Chicks!

We are excited to welcome three new Atlantic puffin chicks to our Sea Cliffs exhibit!

Read the full story

Sawfish swimming in Shark Alley Sawfish Need Love, Too!

Shark Week may be over, but these residents of our Shark Alley exhibit need some time in the spotlight!

Read the full story

Related Stories

You Asked, We Answered: Which Aquatic Animal Has the Longest Migration?

Published December 07, 2017

2016 Recap: Conservation Wins

Published December 15, 2016