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Gray Whale: Eschrichtiidae

Conservation Status

At one time there were three separate gray whale populations in the world. A population in the North Atlantic became extinct during the mid-1700s because of overhunting. The western Pacific population was also overhunted to extinction in the 1930s. Now, only the eastern Pacific stock remains. These whales were hunted almost to extinction in the 1850s. In 1937, the International Whaling Commission gave the gray whale partial protection, and in 1947 this was changed to full protection. The Eastern Pacific gray whale population has made an extraordinary recovery. Their numbers now range between 19,000 and 23,000 individuals. This number is close to their original population.



Carwadine, Mark, and Martin Camm. Smithsonian Handbooks: Whales Dolphins and Porpoises. New York: DK Publishing, 2002.

Gowell, Elizabeth T. Whales and Dolphins: What They Have in Common. New York: Franklin Watts, 2000.

Mead, James G., and Joy P. Gold. Whales and Dolphins in Question: The Smithsonian Answer Book. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002.

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).

"Baleen Whales." SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Information Database. http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/Baleen/home.html (accessed on July 8, 2004).

International Whaling Commission. http://www.iwcoffice.org/ (accessed on July 8, 2004).

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

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsGray Whale: Eschrichtiidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Gray Whales And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT