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Pygmy Right Whale: Neobalaenidae - Conservation Status

july accessed lack threatened

Only a few dozen pygmy right whales have ever been examined, and only a few hundred have been identified. They are not on the endangered species list because of a lack of information, but are still thought to be threatened with extinction.

Only about two dozen pygmy right whales have been studied, and they are rarely seen at sea. There is still a lot to learn about how they live. (Illustration by Brian Cressman. Reproduced by permission.)

They are the only baleen whales not to have been threatened by large-scale commercial hunting. There is concern that this whale might be confused with the Antarctic minke whale, which it resembles. The Antarctic minke whale is still hunted by Japanese whalers. The pygmy is thought to be threatened by global climate change, but not by toxic pollution. Overall, it seems to be so rare not because of the lack of animals, but because of a lack of data and research.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Nowak, Ronald. M. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

Web sites:

American Cetacean Society. http://www.acsonline.org (accessed on July 8, 2004).

"Caperea marginata: Pygmy Right Whale." Cetacea. http://www.cetacea.org/pright.htm (accessed on July 8, 2004).

Cover, Sarah. "Caperea marginata (Pygmy Right Whale)." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Caperea_marginata.html (accessed on July 8, 2004).

"Fishin' for Facts: Pygmy Right Whale." Whale Times. http://www.whaletimes.org/pygrtwha.htm (accessed on July 8, 2004).

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. http://www.wdcs.org (accessed on July 8, 2004).

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