Target: Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Secretary of Commerce at National Marine Fisheries Service
Goal: Protect the world’s most recently discovered and highly endangered whales before they go extinct
A new species or subspecies of whale has been discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, but there are only about 50 left. A genetically distinct group of Bryde’s whales, which appear to be a new subspecies or possibly an entirely new species, is disappearing due to habitat loss caused by human threats such as oil exploration. The Bryde’s whale is the only baleen whale known to the Gulf. Scientists would like to know more about this species, but time is quickly running out to save it.
The only known habitat of the new type of Bryde’s whale is the DeSoto Canyon, which is alarmingly close to the location of the disastrous 2010 BP oil spill. The oil industry is expected to expand in this region, and the whales have been known to be struck by the busy traffic of cargo ships in the area, putting their numbers at even greater risk.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to list this species under the Endangered Species Act before it is too late for them. The Bryde’s whale needs to be added to the federal endangered species list in order to preserve its unique evolutionary lineage. Sign the petition below to urge the NMFS to approve the petition and move forward to conserve this new group of Bryde’s whales.
Dear Dr. Kathryn Sullivan,
I am very concerned over the imperiled status of the new species or subspecies of Bryde’s whale recently discovered in the Gulf of Mexico. With less than 50 left, time is running out to study these animals and discover more about them. We need to conserve their habitat and protect this species in order to study their interesting evolutionary lineage.
I urge you to take the steps to protect these whales before it is too late, and to approve of the petition sent by NRDC to add this species to the Endangered Species List. Thank you for your time and consideration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Rungroj Yongrit, EPA