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.
Whales roam through all of the world’s oceans, communicating with complex and hauntingly beautiful sounds. Their behavior is the most fascinating, least understood, most difficult to study, and least funded area of whale research today.
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.
WWF’s Living Blue Planet Report on the health of the ocean finds that the marine vertebrate population has declined by 49 percent between 1970 and 2012. The report tracks 5,829 populations of 1,234 mammal, bird, reptile, and fish species through a marine living planet index. The evidence, analyzed by researchers at the Zoological Society of London, paints a troubling picture.
For another year, Arctic sea ice will cover much less of the Arctic Ocean than it used to. And with less ice comes more killer whales—predators that feed on other whales, including some recovering species.
At the top of the food chain, whales play a vital role in the overall health of the environment. WWF documents and protects critical feeding and breeding areas, and migration routes of whales. We also work to help shift shipping lanes to limit noise and other disruptions for whales and other marine species.
Now available for free in the iTunes App Store, ‘WWF Together’ is a unique interactive experience that brings you closer to the stories of elephants, whales, rhinos and other fascinating species. Discover the animal’s lives and the work of WWF in a way you’ve never seen before. Try out “tiger vision,” stay as still as the polar bear during a hunt, and chop the panda’s bamboo.
At the urging of international governments and conservation organizations—including WWF—South Korea did not follow through on their intention to begin killing an endangered population of minke whales in 2013.
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.
We hit the trifecta. After an 18-hour boat ride through the wild waters of the Pacific, we reached Magdalena Bay, Mexico. The water was still. The sky was solid blue. We were told by our guides that dozens of gray whales, each just a few weeks old, were in this part of the bay and at the stage of their life when they wanted to do what all children want to do: play. It was the perfect set-up for whale watching.