Southern Right Whale 5-Year Review
A 5-year review is a periodic analysis of a species’ status conducted to ensure the listing of a species as threatened or endangered on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants is accurate.
Under section 4(c)(2) of the Endangered Species Act, we are required to conduct a review of all listed species at least once every 5 years to assess whether the current listing status remains accurate. The Southern right whale was listed as endangered under the ESA in 1970. In 2020, we initiated the 5-year review, which was conducted by the NMFS Office of Protected Resources. The 5-year review is based on the best available data through September 2020. Given the findings in this review, we recommend that southern right whales be reclassified from endangered to threatened based on population growth in some regions, and rangewide abundance and distribution.