Whale Stories

  • North Atlantic right whale population continues to decline, raising alarms

    November 29, 2021

    Only 366 critically endangered North Atlantic right whales are left, experts say, representing a shocking 8% decline in a single year and the lowest number in about 20 years for this iconic species. Human impacts—specifically entanglements in fixed fishing gear and vessel strikes from ship traffic—remain the biggest threats to the survival of this species.

    North Atlantic right whale and calf swim in green waters off the coast of Florida
  • Whales and the plastics problem

    February 18, 2021

    Protecting whales is crucial to protecting healthy oceans for all of us. Yet even these ocean giants are being impacted by the "deadliest predator in the sea": plastic pollution.

    A sperm whale floats toward the surface of the ocean while a white plastic bag floats just below
  • The Whales of Antarctica

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2019
    Whales don’t recognize national boundaries. But they do have core geographies and habitats where they most often roam—whether to rest, mate, frolic, or feed. Discover a few of the Antarctic’s whales.
    graphic whale5 fall2019
  • Hot spot

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2019
    As global temperatures shoot up, the vast storehouse of ice in Antarctica is at risk. A team tags whales, shares data, and works together to protect a changing ecosystem at the bottom of the world.
    Humpback breaching
  • How tagging whales can help us understand ocean pollution

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2019
    Microplastics have accumulated abundantly in the Mediterranean. WWF is analyzing traces of plastic we find in whales to understand the strain that rising pollution puts on our oceans and marine life.
    Whale with arrow
  • New technology helps WWF and partners study whales in one of the most remote places on the planet

    May 21, 2019

    Using new technology, like drones and digital tags, researchers have found that nearly every part of the Antarctica peninsula is important for whales’ feeding and resting. But it is also a hotspot for global climate change. WWF is calling for the protection of this remote wilderness in or effort to preserve 30% of the oceans by 2030.

    whale fluke Chris Johnson
  • Remarkable video shows how minke whale feeds

    February 20, 2018

    For the first time ever, scientists in Antarctica attached a camera to a minke whale and captured incredible evidence of how it feeds. The camera – one of three “whale cams” funded by WWF-Australia – is part of efforts by scientists to better protect whale feeding areas in Antarctica.

    minke whale Antarctic
  • A whale's eye view of Antarctica

    April 14, 2017

    Whales are awe-inspiring and often elusive creatures. Their distribution and critical feeding areas are currently poorly understood, and as climate change and krill fishing increase, our time to learn more about these giant mammals is running out. However, with the help of Dr. Ari Friedlaender, a whale ecologist and National Geographic Explorer, WWF is using whale tagging to discover a wealth of new information.

    The fluke of a humpback whale diving to feed
  • US permanently protects some of the Arctic's most important marine areas

    December 20, 2016

    Just one week after scientists warned of unprecedented change brought on by warming in the Arctic, President Obama announced permanent protection for 115 million acres of federal waters in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Including previous presidential withdrawals, today's action protects nearly 125 million acres in the offshore Arctic from future oil and gas activity.

    sea ice in the Arctic
  • Let’s keep offshore oil and gas drilling out of the Arctic’s most pristine spots

    March 15, 2016

    We now have the opportunity to keep offshore drilling out of the Arctic Ocean. Every five years, the US government draws up a five-year planning outlining where oil companies can drill. The Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas are on the line. We have a chance to persuade our government to remove these pristine places from their list.

    sea ice in the Arctic
  • Baby Animals and Their Moms

    May 04, 2015

    We all know how great moms can be. The same is true in parts of the wild. Take a look at a few images of animals with their parents.

    zebra and mom
  • A Whale of a Feast

    December 10, 2013

    Unprecedented numbers of humpback whales have been gorging themselves for the last few months in the waters around Monterey Bay, California.

    humback whale jump
  • New Hope for Marine Life

    November 06, 2012

    On November 6, 2012, the Government of Mozambique announced the creation of the second largest marine protected area in Africa. Made up of ten islands off the coast of northern Mozambique, this coastal marine reserve in the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago will cover more than 4020 square miles and contains abundant coral and turtle species.

    Local fishermen