– The Southern Right Whale –
A survivor of endangered
The Southern Right Whale or Eubalaena australis is a cetacean, native of the south hemisphere which has obtained the term “Right” on its name for being one of the three whale species easy or “Right” to hunt, due to they swin very slowly, float when die and are easily found near to the coasts.
They can be found in Argentina, Australia, the Antarctica, New Zealand and the Tristan de Acuña Archipelago.
Characteristics of the Southern Right Whale
It is relatively easy to identify these whales according the following characteristics:
- Big head (approximately one third of its body).
- Length: 15 meters (females larger than males). Calf at born: 3 – 5 meters.
- Approximate weight: Adults from 40 to 60 tons. and Calves: from 2 to 3 tons.
- Callosities on head, covered with cyamids. Which distribution and size are unique and help to identify them.
- Wide and short pectoral fins.
- Do not possess a dorsal fin.
- Their body is usually black, sometimes with white, gray or brown spots.
- Blow with a “V” form.
How this Whale is endangered?
From the centuries 17th to 19th, all of the three species of right whales were massively hunted for commercial purposes because of their meat, babbles and the oil produced from its blubber, reducing their population until a near to extinction point. It is estimated that before the rise of commercial whaling, the population of Southern Right Whales was around 70,000.
Nowadays after almost 100 years of international protection, their population has shown evidence of a strong recovery, to a 25% of its previous total to about 17,000 worldwide, of which an average of 4,000 uses for breading the area of the Peninsula de Valdes in the Argentine Patagonia, where the sightings began in the late 70’s, when some ships that were sailing around the peninsula, noticed that the whales were curious and did not flee from the presence of man (even seem to enjoy it) because they showed their tails, made jumps and even swam in circles around the boats.
This recovery, offers a hope in the conservation of this specie, placing the Southern Right Whale into the Least Concern category on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).