Southern right whales give birth to fewer due to humans

A decade-long research on the southern right whale reveals that normal calving times, typically every three years, have increased from four to five due to the climate crisis and intensive hunting of the past two centuries

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Southern right whales give birth to fewer due to humans

The southern right whale is widespread mainly in subantarctic waters. They migrate south during the summer, in search of areas with abundant krill, and to the north during the winter, especially along the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa, to mate, give birth and breastfeed.

During the winter and spring they are more distributed near the coast line. Southern right whales are easily spotted, for a certain period of southern winter and spring, from much of the coast of South Africa. The town of Hermanus, in the Western Cape province, is particularly renowned for whale watching, as the whales travel annually to the bay where the city is located At the international level, the species is protected under the International Agreement for the regulation of whaling, signed in London in 1937 and which was followed by the International Convention for the regulation of whaling, signed in Washington on 2 December 1946.

by delegates from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, United Kingdom, United States of America, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and South African Union.

According to the Treaty, hunting is prohibited. In 2008 it was included in the IUCN red list and, although the population of the species is increasing, there are still some small groups of individuals, off the coasts of Chile and Peru, which need special protection so that their numbers can recover.

. In Argentina, as a result of Law N ° 23.094 of 1984, all specimens of the species that swim in Argentine territorial waters are declared a national natural monument and, for this reason, they are guaranteed a high level of protection.

However, a decade-long research on the southern right whale reveals that normal calving times, typically every three years, have increased from four to five due to the climate crisis and intensive hunting of the past two centuries.

According to the study conducted by Curtin University: "We know that the main threats to whale populations are attacks on their habitat, underwater noise, marine ships and entrapment. It is essential to understand how climate change and activities humans may have an impact on their ongoing survival. "