Turning the Tide Magazine Threatened Species

Endangered Blue Whales

Summer '24 Newsletter
by AMCS February 1, 2024

Turning the Tide Newsletter – Summer 2024

Endangered Blue Whales

Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever existed.

They are migratory, ranging from polar to tropical waters. There are no reliable estimates of blue whale population numbers as they range over such large areas making surveys difficult.

There are four subspecies of blue whale – two of which, the Antarctic blue whale and pygmy blue whale, are found in Australia.

Aggressively hunted to the brink of extinction for their blubber and oil, they finally came under protection in 1966 globally, but they’ve only seen a minor recovery.

Blue whales remain Endangered, many are injured or die each year from impacts with large ships.

Facts & Figures

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Balaenoptera musculus
TYPE: Mammal
SIZE: 24 to 30+ metres and up to 150,000kg
WEIGHT: 5 to 10.5 kg
LIFESPAN (IN WILD): 80 to 90 years
DIET: Mostly krill, also fish and squid

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