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Extinct, Endangered, and Threatened Marine Mammals
Transcript of Extinct, Endangered, and Threatened Marine Mammals
Location: Serranilla Bank Text from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Monk_Seal
Image from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Cms-newyorkzoologicalsociety1910.jpg/240px-Cms-newyorkzoologicalsociety1910.jpg 1960 1970 1980 1950 1990 2000 2010 2020 ............ June December Humpback whales face a series of threats including entanglement in fishing gear (bycatch), ship strikes, whale watch harassment, habitat impacts, and proposed harvest. Humpbacks can become entangled in fishing gear, either swimming off with the gear or becoming anchored. NOAA Fisheries has observed "incidental take" of humpback whales in the California/Oregon swordfish and thresher shark drift gillnet fishery. Potential entanglement from gear from several fisheries can occur on their long migration from Hawaii to Alaska. Humpbacks in Hawaii have been observed entangled in longline gear, crab pots, and other non-fishery-related lines. Inadvertent ship strikes can injure or kill humpbacks. NOAA Fisheries has verified mortality related to ship strikes in the Gulf of Maine and in southeastern Alaska. Ship strikes have also been reported in Hawaii. Whale watching vessels may stress or even strike whales.
Location: All oceans Mediterranean monk seals have been targeted and killed by fisherman for their oil, meat, hides, and in order to reduce competition for fish and cephalopods. This species is also at risk of entanglement in fishing gear and marine debris.Colonies throughout the species' range have been displaced due to coastal development. Humans, through their direct and indirect interactions, have also negatively impacted these sensitive seals and their natural habitat. Fishing, coastal development and other exploitation activities have infringed on these animals, and may cause them to abandon their critical and vital habitat, or have depleted their prey resources Storms and heavy surf have had significant effects on the mortality of newborn and young pups that are nursed in caves. Other significant threats include mass mortalities caused by viral epidemics (e.g. morbillivirus) or naturally occurring phytoplankton-based paralytic toxins, contaminants from industrial pollution, and inbreeding among sub-populations. During the 19th and 20th centuries, sei whales were targeted (along with blue and fin whales) and greatly depleted by commercial hunting and whaling, with an estimated 300,000 animals killed for their meat and oil. Other threats that may affect sei whale populations are ship strikes and interactions with fishing gear, such as traps/pots.
Location: Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans January Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/humpbackwhale.htm)
Image: http://www.foxnews.com/images/242223/0_61_humpback_whale.jpg June 1970
Humpback Whale: Endangered Ship collisions and entanglement in fishing gear are the most common human causes of serious injury and mortality of right whales. Additional threats may include habitat degradation, contaminants, climate and ecosystem change, and predators such as large sharks and killer whales. Disturbance from such activities as whale-watching and noise from industrial activities also may affect the population.
Location: Atlantic Ocean June 1970
Right Whale: Endangered Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/rightwhale_northatlantic.htm)
Image: http://www.surfersvillage.com/gal/pictures/full_rightWhale_2-Gal.jpg The greatest threat for sperm whales has been man, especially with the advent of whaling. Between 1800 and 1987, whalers took a total of at least 436,000 sperm whales, but the actual takes may be as high as 1,000,000. Hunting of sperm whales by commercial whalers declined in the 1970s and 1980s, and virtually ceased with the implementation of a moratorium against whaling by the IWC in 1988. Sperm whales are still being targeted in a few areas: there is a small catch by primitive methods in Lamalera, Indonesia, and Japan takes sperm whales for scientific purposes. There is also some evidence to suggest that sperm whales are being hunted illegally in some parts of the world. In addition to whaling, sperm whales may be impacted by other shipping and fishing operations. Sperm whales have the potential to be harmed by ship strikes and entanglements in fishing gear, although these are not as great of a threat to sperm whales as they are to more coastal cetaceans. Disturbance by anthropogenic noise may prove to be an important habitat issue in some areas of this population's range, notably in areas of oil and gas activities or where shipping activity is high. Another potential human-cased source of mortality is from accumulation of stable pollutants.
Location: All oceans June 1970
Sperm Whale: Endangered Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/spermwhale.htm)
Image: http://blogs.discovery.com/.a/6a00d8341bf67c53ef0120a8ca9bdf970b-320wi June 1970
Mediterranean Monk Seal: Endangered Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/mediterraneanmonkseal.htm
Location: Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean Blue whales were significantly depleted by commercial whaling activities worldwide. In the Southern Hemisphere, pre-exploitation population estimates range from 150,000 to 210,000 whales; recent abundance estimates range between 400 and 1,400 whales. In the North Pacific, pre-exploitation population size is estimated as approximately 4,900 blue whales, whereas the current population estimate is a minimum of 3,300 blue whales. In the North Atlantic, estimates for the entire basin are considered unreliable, but range from 1,100 to 1,500 blue whales pre-exploitation, and 100 to 555 whales currently.
Location: all oceans Text fromhttp://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/bluewhale.htm
Image: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/planetocean/gallery/blue_whale_top.gif December 1970
Blue Whale: Endangered Historically, bowhead whales were severely depleted by commercial harvesting. They were targeted by hunters because they are slow and big, with large amounts of blubber. They were pursued by European and American commercial whalers for lamp oil and baleen. North Atlantic stocks were hunted commercially for almost four hundred years, beginning in the 15 th or 16 th century. Commercial hunting of bowheads in the North Pacific started when they were discovered in the 1840s. Commercial whaling of bowheads effectively ended by 1921, when the worldwide population of the species declined to about 3,000. Moratoriums on commercial whaling went into place later, and are still in effect today. Bowhead whales have also been hunted by indigenous peoples for food and fuel for the last 2,000 years.
Location: North Atlantic and North Pacific, including Sea of Okhotsk December 1970
Bowhead Whale: Endangered Text from:http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/bowheadwhale.htm
Image: http://www.discover-whales.com/images/bowhead-whale.jpg Commercial whaling for this species ended in the North Pacific Ocean in 1976, in the Southern Ocean in 1976-77, and in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1987. Fin whales are still hunted in Greenland and subject to catch limits under the International Whaling Commission's "aboriginal subsistence whaling" scheme. Other current threats are collisions with vessels, entanglement in fishing gear, reduced prey abundance due to overfishing, habitat degradation, disturbance from low-frequency noise and the possibility that illegal whaling or resumed legal whaling will cause removals at biologically unsustainable rates. Of all species of large whales, fin whales are most often reported as hit by vessels. Schooling fish constitute a large proportion of the fin whale's diet in many areas of the North Atlantic, so trends in fish populations, whether driven by fishery operations, human-caused environmental deterioration, or natural processes, may strongly affect the size and distribution of fin whale populations.
Location: Greenland Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/finwhale.htm)
Image: http://animal.discovery.com/tv/whale-wars/meet-the-whales/fin-whale/images/fin-whale.jpg December 1970
Fin Whale: Endangered Commercial whaling severely depleted both the eastern and western populations between the mid-1800s and early 1900s. Beginning in the mid-1930s, gray whales were protected under a ban on commercial hunting adopted by the League of Nations. This ban was the first international agreement to protect a whale species from commercial whaling operations. The ban on commercial gray whale catches has continued since the late 1940s under the International Whaling Commission. Gray whales are still hunted by native people of Chukotka and Washington State and are subject to catch limits under the International Whaling Commission's "aboriginal subsistence whaling" scheme. Other current threats include collisions with vessels, entanglement in fishing gear, habitat degradation, disturbance from ecotourism and whale watching, disturbance from low-frequency noise, and the possibility that illegal whaling or resumed legal whaling will remove animals at biologically unsustainable rates.
Location: Granite Canyon, CA Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/graywhale.htm
Image: http://www.yukul.com/yukul/yukulhistory/History%20of%20Animals/Whale/Gray%20Whale/graywhale.jpg December 1970
Gray Whale: Endangered Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/seiwhale.htm)
Image: http://www.amnh.org/nationalcenter/Endangered/sei.jpg December 1970
Sei Whale: Endangered Extinct, Endangered, and Threatened Marine Mammals Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic Photographer, discusses how climate change has impacted the Arctic environment he loves. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. Part of the "true seal" family, Phocidae, they are one of only two remaining monk seal species. Isolated from their closest relative 15 million years ago, Hawaiian monk seals are considered a "living fossil" because of their distinct evolutionary lineage.
Hunted to the brink of extinction in the late 19th century, Hawaiian monk seals have been declining since modern surveying. Threats include food limitations in NWHI, especially for juveniles and sub-adults; entanglement in marine debris; Human interactions (especially in the MHI) including bycatch in fishing gear, mother-pup disturbance on beaches, and exposure to disease; loss of haul-out and pupping beaches due to erosion in NWHI; disease outbreaks; male aggression towards females; and low genetic diversity.
Location: Hawaii The IUCN describes the significant threats to sea otters as oil pollution, predation by orcas, poaching, and conflicts with fisheries. Sea otters can drown if entangled in fishing gear. They can also be stressed by well-meaning human watchers who approach too closely. The most significant threat to sea otters is oil spills. Sea otters are particularly vulnerable, as they rely on their fur to keep warm. When their fur is soaked with oil, it loses its ability to retain air, and the animal quickly dies from hypothermia. The liver, kidneys, and lungs of sea otters also become damaged after they inhale oil or ingest it when grooming.
Location: Central California Also known as vaquitas, Gulf of California harbor porpoises are incidentally taken as bycatch in local gillnet and trawl fisheries. Commerical fishing is by far the greatest threat to individuals, their habitat, and the species overall survival. It is estimated that at least 30-85 individuals are taken incidentally each year. Other possible threats to this species include environmental pollution, habitat degradation, and inbreeding due to low population numbers.
Location: Gulf of California In the 1700s and 1800s, commercial sealers heavily hunted Guadalupe fur seals to the point where the species was thought to be extinct by the early 1900s. Insufficient data exist on the incidental bycatch of Guadalupe fur seals in fishing gear, although some juvenile seals have been documented with entanglement injuries.
Location: Guadalupe Island, Mexico Anthropogenic (or human-induced) threats to Steller sea lions include boat strikes, contaminants/pollutants, habitat degradation, illegal hunting/shooting, offshore oil and gas exploration, direct and indirect interactions with fisheries, and subsistence harvests by natives in Alaska and Canada (150-300 taken a year). In the 1800s, they were targeted by hunters for their meat (food), fur hides (clothing), oil, and various other products. In the early 1900s, fishermen killed and placed bounties on this species, which they blamed for stealing fish from them. Some Steller sea lions were killed to limit their predation on fish in aquaculture facilities (fish farms), but intentional killing of Steller sea lions has not been permitted since they were protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and listed under the ESA.
Steller sea lions' direct and indirect interactions with fisheries is currently receiving significant attention and may possibly be an important factor in their decline. Direct fishing impacts are largely due to fishing gear (drift and set gillnets, longlines, trawls, etc.) that has the potential to entangle, hook, injure, or kill sea lions. These pinnipeds have been seen entangled in fishing equipment with what are considered "serious injuries." Steller sea lions are also indirectly threatened by fisheries because they have to compete for food resources and critical habitat may be modified by fishing activities.
Location: North Pacific Ocean Indus River dolphins have been incidentally taken as bycatch in fisheries such as gillnets and longlines. These animals have also been targeted and harpooned by local fisherman for bait, medicine, and meat and oil for consumption. Indus river dolphins are affected by human development and other anthropogenic impacts such as hydroelectric dams and irrigation canals (e.g., Indus Basin Irrigation System) that can separate populations, and reduce and alter suitable habitat. Individuals have been entrapped in irrigation canals along the river and its tributaries. They are also susceptible to vessel strikes, and pollutants and other contaminants discharged into the water from agriculture, industrial, and urban use. These contaminants have led to fish kills, which may deplete Indus River dolphins prey. Another threat to this species is water consumption for various uses by humans in Pakistan 's arid climate.
Location: Indus River, Pakistan There are only about 200-250 Saimaa seals in the world. Unlike most other ringed seal species, Saimaa seals are found only in freshwater. Historically, hunting and interactions with fisheries in the lake were a threat to this species. Today, enhanced conservation efforts and protections limit these threats, but incidental capture in fisheries--except when fisheries are prohibited during breeding season--still occurs.
Location: Saimaa Lake, Finland Although all killer whales are protected under the MMPA--and some are protected under the ESA--and they have not been commercially hunted or captured in the past 40 years within the U.S. waters, historic live capture for aquarium display and culling for depredation of fisheries reduced some killer whale populations, especially the Southern Resident stock.
Today, these killer whales still face many threats caused by human activities, such as contaminants (e.g., PCBs), depletion of prey due to overfishing and habitat degradation, ship collisions, and oil spills. Additional threats may also include disturbance from such activities as noise from industrial and military activities, entanglement in fishing gear, and whale-watching. Outside U.S. waters, directed catch of killer whales still occurs, though these levels are presumed low.
Location: All Oceans The Baiji (meaning "left behind,” "flag bearer") was a freshwater dolphin found only in the Yangtze River in China. Nicknamed "Goddess of the Yangtze" in China. The Baiji population declined drastically in recent decades as China industrialized and made heavy use of the river for fishing, transportation, and hydroelectricity. Efforts were made to conserve the species, but a late 2006 expedition failed to find any Baiji in the river. Organizers declared the Baiji "functionally extinct", which would make it the first aquatic mammal species to become extinct since the demise of the Caribbean Monk Seal in the 1950s. It would also be the first recorded extinction of a well-studied cetacean species (it is unclear if some previously extinct varieties were species or subspecies) to be directly attributable to human influence.
Location: Yangtze River, China Belugas are the only cetacean with skin thick enough to be used as leather when tanned. For this and other reasons they have been harvested over the years. Human-caused mortality, primarily legal subsistence harvest by Alaska Natives, has been the most significant source of mortality of this species during recent times. Subsistence harvest is the only factor that can be identified as influencing the decline of the Cook Inlet population from 1994 to 1998 when 67 whales per year were harvested, prompting the "depleted" designation under the MMPA. The lack of recovery of the population after these harvests were curtailed was a factor that contributed to the recent ESA listing. Moreover, Cook Inlet is highly developed, and human activity is expected to increase in the future. Potential human-caused threats to this population include shipping, oil and gas production and transport, indirect and direct adverse effects from commercial fishing gear (e.g., gillnets) and operations, pollution, habitat destruction and alteration, harassment due to increasing commerce and recreation in Cook Inlet, and noise.
Location: Cook Inlet, AK Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/hawaiianmonkseal.htm
Image: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/006/cache/monk-seal_632_600x450.jpg 1976
Hawaiian Monk Seal: Endangered 1977
Southern Sea Otter: Threatened Text from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_otter_conservation
Image: http://montereybayaquarium.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54f1141728834012877aae7b0970c-320wi January 1985
Gulf of California Harbor Porpoise: Endangered Text from:http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/vaquita.htm)
Image: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CDTtntnI_tU/TA8r4FQdieI/AAAAAAAACJ8/AjqrlGdhlw8/s400/Vaquita.jpg December 1985
Guadalupe Fur Seal: Threatened Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/guadalupefurseal.htm
Image: http://www.oceanlight.com/stock-photo/guadalupe-fur-seal-picture-02441-410159.jpg 1990
Stellar Sea Lion: Threatened Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/stellersealion.htm
Image: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/images/pinnipeds/steller_nmml.jpg Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/indusriverdolphin.htm
Image: http://www.cschong.net/dolphinparadise/indus%20river%20dolphin.jpg 1991
Indus River Dolphin: Endangered Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/saimaaseal.htm
Image: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/images/pinnipeds/saimaa_seal.jpg 1993
Saimaa Seal: Endangered Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/killerwhale.htm )
Image: http://static1.businessinsider.com/image/4b858fa97f8b9acb25ad0000-400-278/killer-whale.jpg 2005
Killer Whale: Endangered 2006
Baiji Dolphin: Declared functionally extinct Text from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baiji
Image: http://uzar.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/baiji.jpg Loss of sea ice is a potential threat to the habitat of spotted seals. Bycatch in fishing gear, such as groundfish trawls, may occur, but annual mortality of spotted seals incidental to fishing is very low. Additionally, spotted seals are incidentally entangled in salmon trap nets off of the Nemuro Peninsula in Japan.
Location: North Pacific Ocean 2010
Spotted Seal: Threatened Text from: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/spottedseal.htm
Image: http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/nmml/species/images/spotted.jpg 2008
Beluga Whale: Endangered Text from http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/belugawhale.htm)
Image: http://www.solarnavigator.net/animal_kingdom/animal_images/whale_beluga_submerged.jpg The Future of Marine Mammals