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Disappearing Giants: Three Whales Face Extinction

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Six out of the 13 great whale species are threatened with extinction. But these three species are swimming even closer to extinction. Here’s why.

Rice’s Whale — Critically Endangered

The Rice’s whale is the newest of the large whale species, but it’s already critically endangered. As few as 50 of these whales remain just south of the Florida panhandle. What is causing their population to decline? Their home is right in the middle of a busy shipping corridor, which means they are constantly at risk of vessel strikes and oil contamination. It’s estimated the 2010 Gulf oil spill killed 17% of their species and left 25% of females with reproductive problems.

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