Editor's Note December 4, 2023: Endangered North Atlantic right whales are approaching extinction. There are approximately 360 individuals remaining, including fewer than 70 reproductively active females. The population continues to decline at an unsustainable rate, due to human impacts.
Today, fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales remain. Impacts from human activities, such as entanglement from fishing gear and collisions with vessels, are the greatest dangers to these whales. Climate change is also affecting their habitat and the location and availability of their prey.
Mature North Atlantic right whales today grow around one meter shorter than they did 30 to 40 years ago. Their stunted growth means female whales produce fewer offspring during their reproductive years, limiting the recovery of this endangered species.
Watch the video below to learn why North Atlantic right whales are smaller and what that means for the outlook of the species.