Subject: Michael and David: Right whales and Grey whales

Dr. Cathy Schaeff (
Wed, 01 Oct 1997 15:08:08 +0000

>From Michael K., and David: When Right whales and Grey whales were at their
> lowest numbers which was more endangered?

Depends on which populations you compare.  Grey whales used to be
present in the Atlantic and the Pacific but are now found only in the
Pacific (and only the eastern Pacific is in good shape).  The ePacific
population has about 22000 animals which may be more than it had to
start with.  Right whales also used to be more wide spread.  They used
to be common in all oceans of the world.  There are still quite a few in
the southern hemisphere (around Argentina, South Africa, Australia, New
Zealand; about 7,000 to 10,000 in total).  In the northern hemisphere
all the populations have been pretty much destroyed except for the North
Atlantic population which has only about 300 animals left (very small
number for a species which reproduces so slowly).

cheers, Cathy Schaeff

Dr. Cathy Schaeff
Biology Department 
American University
4400 Mass. Ave. N.W. 
Washington D.C. 20016-8007
(202) 885-2175 (phone)
(202) 885-2182 (fax) (email)