Subject: Re: Blue Whale Extincton
Thu, 26 Sep 96 10:29:45 EST

     Your question is not ridiculous at all.  All the talk about 
     endangered, threatened, and protected marine mammal species is 
     sometimes difficult to understand.  Blue whales were indeed on the 
     road to extinction before protection by the International Whaling 
     Commission in 1965, and kind of like the "poster child" for the "Save 
     the Whales" campaign.
     Happily, blue whales are not extinct.  In fact, some stocks (such as 
     those that feed off California) have shown encouraging signs of 
     recovery.  Blue whale numbers appear to at least be on the rise in the 
     eastern North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific.
     Unfortunately, many people think that since blue whale numbers appear 
     to be increasing, that all of the whales and dolphins are in good 
     shape.  Currently, the northern right whale has the dubious honor of 
     being the most endangered of the baleen whales (with approximately 350 
     left in the world).  Also, there are at least two species of dolphins 
     and porpoises that are quickly on the road to extinction:  the Baiji 
     (a river dolphin that lives in China) and the vaquita (the Gulf of 
     California harbor porpoise).  Scientists are working to get equal 
     protection for the small cetaceans that the larger ones have.
     Thanks for asking this question; I'm sure other people out there had 
     the same one!

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Blue Whale Extincton
Author: at ~smtp
Date:    9/26/96 1:10 AM

Dear Dagmar Fertl,
    I have a question that a few of my friends here at Tufts University 
in Medford, Mass, were debating tonight to which we need a simple 
answer, please.  Are Blue Whales extinct?  That's it.  I know it sounds 
rediculous, but my appoligies, that's our question to which we need an 
answer. I would really appreciate you responding to this as soon as 
possible.  Thank you for you time and have a nice day.
                                                  Peter Alfano