North Pacific right whales are the most endangered whales in the world, devastated by whaling in the 1800s.
Today only about 30 animals swim Alaska's waters, with a few hundred more remaining in Russia. With such a small population, the species is at high risk of extinction.
While whaling may have largely ceased, other threats to the species remain. The risk of ship strikes grows each year as the Arctic sea ice melts from global warming, opening new shipping lanes into right whale habitat.
Oil and gas drilling also threatens their waters, and right whales can be entangled in fishing gear.
February 3, 2013 Action Alert ID# 40
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