Canada - Add Bottlenose Whale to Species at Risk List

  • by: Judith B.
  • target: Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada

Not much is known about the elusive northern bottlenose whale, except that it is almost certainly in trouble, with the increasing scarcity of sighting suggesting numbers are at an all time low.

Canada is currently deciding whether or not to add the bottlenose to its List of Wildlife Species at Risk, which would lead to a conservation management plan to save the species.

Lack of data is not a reason to assume a species is thriving, especially when all the evidence indicates the contrary and there isn’t a single speck of evidence that shows the bottlenose whale is OK.  

The worst that can happen if bottlenose whale is added to the risk list and the studies turn out to be misleading is, well, nothing. The worst that can happen if it isn’t and all the studies are right is that the northern bottlenose whale disappears forever.  

Ask the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to stop hesitating and add the northern bottlenose whale to the species at risk list as a matter of urgency.

We the undersigned ask that you add the northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk as a matter of urgency. Populations of this species have been greatly depleted by whaling in the past. Although the species habits make data difficult to collect, all studies suggest the species is in danger and in the last few years, sightings have become increasingly scarce.

Taking the optimistic position of assuming a species is fine, despite evidence suggesting the opposite, because of data deficiency is asking for trouble. The oceans are fragile at the moment and it is far better to err on the side of caution. You can always delist an endangered species that recovers. You cannot bring a species back from extinction.

Canada needs to take a firm position on protecting the oceans and the species within, taking the lead on conservation issues rather than waiting until it is too late.

Thank you for your attention

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