Whales have been sighted returning to the polar regions for the first time in 40 years after being forced onto the verge of extinction
A bloody history of mass killings haunts the polar whales, with jaw-dropping figures like 1.3million being killed in the last 70 years, in Antarctica alone.
But now, after the commercial hunting of these marine mammoths, and after many years of absence, the polar whales have returned.
Despite years of human abuse and exploration, they are coming back.
A recent study shows that in the last nine years, 41 new specimens of blue whales have been revealed in the vicinity of the subantarctic island of South Georgia.
This is the largest number ever cataloged and is especially a cause for celebration since this was the same spot that 3,000 individuals died in a year.
Scientists on this study believe that the recovery of plankton, the blue whales’ favorite food, in the area could be one of the causes for the blue giants’ return.
Now that their food supply is steady, chances of them reproducing, and eventually returning to normal in the coming years are up too.
This same phenomenon was also observed with the humpback whales of the Antarctic Peninsula.
After also being forced to near extinction during the whaling era, their current population density is similar to the numbers that existed before hunting was a commercial practice.
Now, more than hunting, global warming is the single most significant threat facing the polar whale populations.
Increases in water temperatures deplete the whales’ food sources as well as cause them stress.
Similarly, noise pollution from large boats interferes with the whales’ communication with each other, which hinders their likelihood of obtaining food.
It turns out that this has even caused mothers to separate from their young as they cannot communicate with them.