Humpback makes comeback

Whale population shows growth

The United States government is considering taking the North Pacific humpback whale off its endangered species list, according to The Associated Press.

The National Marines Fisheries Services received results last year from a study that showed the population of humpbacks has grown about 4 percent to 7 percent each year for the past decade, likely due to an international ban on whaling in 1966.

Throughout the next year, a panel of scientists will review the data to determine whether or not the humpback whale should remain on the federal list of endangered species. This is the first time humpbacks have been reviewed since 1999.

Environmentalists have expressed skepticism over the removal, saying unstable ocean conditions may pose a threat to the whales in the future.

The government is required by law to review the endangered species status of an animal or plant if it receives “significant new information,” according to the AP.