Comeback News: Seals, Humpbacks, and Urchins Increasing

Comeback News: Seals, Humpbacks, and Urchins Increasing

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  • whale in shipping lane-Cascadia ResearchSteller sea lions in Alaska are making a comeback. An aerial survey of the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands spotted more than 19,000 adults, a 5.5% increase over 2 years. The population plummeted by more than 80% over the last 25 years and was listed as endangered in 1997.
  • Whale experts believe the population of Humpback Whales is growing around 10% a year. Humpbacks once numbered between 15,000-20,000 in the South Pacific until harpooning reduced them to just 200-500 by the 1960’s. Now, they have recovered to one quarter of the number they once were.
  • In 1983, an outbreak of disease in the largest coral reef in the Atlantic Ocean reduced long-spine sea urchin populations by 97%. Now, scientists report a 38% recovery since 1997 for sea urchins, which are critical to the health of the Mesoamerican Caribbean reef.

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