With fewer than 500 individuals remaining, North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered species on Earth. And yet only a tiny portion of this massive whale's expansive range is protected as "critical habitat" under the Endangered Species Act. As a result, these whales have been forced to navigate an obstacle course of threats during their Atlantic migration -- fishing nets, commercial ships and deafening noise from industrial activities.
In 2009 the Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned for increased protections under the Act after numerous studies revealed key feeding, migratory and nursery grounds were still vulnerable. Now it's finally time to protect these areas, and we need your help.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed to protect nearly 40,000 square miles of right whale habitat along the East Coast. But significantly, the proposal ignores the migratory corridor in the mid-Atlantic -- the route used by pregnant females heading to the Southeast to give birth to their calves, and then again as they return with newborns on their way to feed in New England. If industry has its way, nothing in the proposal will ever become final, and these waters will be protected instead for oil drilling and commercial shipping.
March 26, 2015 Action Alert ID# 199
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