Business and IUCN join forces: lessons learned from western gray whale conservation

What are the benefits of western gray whale conservation?

The gray whale is the sole living representative of an entire mammalian family. Its lineage extends back some 30 million years, making it one of the more ancient mammals on earth. Although historically present in both the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, gray whales now occur only in the North Pacific. Their dramatic seasonal migration along the west coast of North America is an iconic wildlife phenomenon. As such, it provides opportunities for scientific discovery, aesthetic and spiritual enrichment, economic rewards (from tourism in Mexico, the US and Canada) and, very importantly, a source of inspiration for new generations of conservationists.

Comments

Whales are playing an important role in the global marine ecosystem. When their populations decrease, it has a significant impact on many other marine species, not only by changing the structure of the communities whales feed on, but it affects parasite communities and the fauna that feeds on whale carcass as well. Consequently the whole food web is modified and marine biodiversity is impacted.
Let us make the effort necessary to drastically diminish impacts that human activities at sea are having on whale populations.
By Aurélie Spadone, Marine Programme Officer, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme

Whales already face a number of growing threats such as ship strikes, persistent chemical pollution, overfishing, underwater noise and, increasingly, ocean acidification, which may reduce the food source of selected species. The growing and cumulative nature of these threats means it is imperative to protect the critical habitats used by whales as well as reducing the threats along the main migration routes they use. Efforts over recent decasdes to protect whales and reverse declines in their populations should be commended, but the current plight of the rhino in Africa should remind us that environmental victories of the past are not enough to protect species and ecosystems in the future.
By James Oliver, Project Officer, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme

Marine cetaceans play an important role as flagship species. They are able to put a tangible face to anthropogenic threats in the marine environment, increasing public awareness and political will to mitigate such threats and providing a focal point around which broader marine conservation objectives can be achieved.
By Aimée Leslie, Global Cetacean and Marine Turtle Manager, WWF International

Connection could not be established.
Array ( [0] => Array ( [0] => 28000 [SQLSTATE] => 28000 [1] => 18456 [code] => 18456 [2] => [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Login failed for user 'drupal'. [message] => [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Login failed for user 'drupal'. ) [1] => Array ( [0] => 42000 [SQLSTATE] => 42000 [1] => 4060 [code] => 4060 [2] => [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Cannot open database "aspnetdb" requested by the login. The login failed. [message] => [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Cannot open database "aspnetdb" requested by the login. The login failed. ) [2] => Array ( [0] => 28000 [SQLSTATE] => 28000 [1] => 18456 [code] => 18456 [2] => [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Login failed for user 'drupal'. [message] => [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Login failed for user 'drupal'. ) [3] => Array ( [0] => 42000 [SQLSTATE] => 42000 [1] => 4060 [code] => 4060 [2] => [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Cannot open database "aspnetdb" requested by the login. The login failed. [message] => [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Cannot open database "aspnetdb" requested by the login. The login failed. ) )