Whales are large-sized marine mammals found in all seas and oceans of the world that weigh more than 200 tons and have lengths of more than 600 meters. They are also known as large animals belonging to order cetacea. Whales are the warm- blooded animals that give birth to their young ones and suckle milk to them.
Whales are aquatic animals having special adaptations for living in the water. Whales have more than 90 species; sperm whales, blue whales, bowhead whales, humpback whales, killer whales, etc.
Whales About to Go Extinct
A century ago, all oceans were rich with whales. They were found in all seas and oceans of the world. But unregulated whaling put them to engendered species. People started to hunt whales for meat and many other benefits. Unfortunately, these large-sized mammals cannot protect themselves from human beings and have become an extinct species. Whales are being exposed to the threats of extinction day by day by many human activities. According to a report, about 300,000 whales are killed every year due to whaling and many other factors.
Many factors contribute to the extinction of Whales. Human activities have put the whales at threat and make them extinct species. Environmental pollution, whaling, lack of habitats, and lack of food are causes of Whale extinction.
Is Human the Cause of the Extinction of Whales?
Human activities have exposed whales to extinction. Several human activities cause threats to whales being extinct. Here we discuss some threatening human activities that have put the whales in endangered and extinct species.
- Commercial Whaling
- Environmental Pollution
- Toxic Contamination from Tankers and Ships
- Lack of Habitats
Whaling is the hunting of whales by humans for getting meat, oil and blubber. Human beings have been hunting whales for their benefit. Whaling had started in the 17th century on an industrial scale. Later on, people started hunting whales on a commercial scale. They are hunting whales for meat and oil. Whaling has reduced the populations of whales to a great extent. Whaling has also led to un-regular habits of whales. Over-Whaling on a commercial scale is the main factor that has exposed the whales to be extinct species.
Whales are affected by pollution heavily. The number of whales is reducing day by day due to environmental pollution. There are two main types of pollution; water pollution and noise pollution, contributing to the whale’s extinction.
- Water Pollution
Water pollution is the main factor; is contributing to the exploitation of marine life. Marine water is being polluted by the following human activities:
- Chemical Wastes from Industries
- Toxic contamination from tankers
- Wasted disposed of from ships
Human beings dispose of highly toxic and industrial wastes into seas and oceans that cause water pollution. Water pollution has put marine life at risk. This Toxic contamination from tankers and ships has also polluted the water. Oil released from ships and oil tankers into water is the main factor in putting the whales into extinct species. As whales come to the surface to breathe, if there will be an oil slick on the ocean surface, they will suck the oil into their lungs that will be very toxic to these marine animals.
The whales are being exposed directly to these toxic chemicals. These chemicals may ingest the food that whales eat. These chemicals affect the endocrine system of whales and create reproductive and developmental problems. Oil exposure in oceans also affects the massive proportion of whales.
- Noise Pollution
Shipping activities, seismic surveys, and military sonars by humans are causing noise pollution in marine life. Noise pollution has threatened the whale’s population at large. In oceans, due to low visibility, many marine animals communicate through sounds. Due to noise pollution, the behavior of whales has been interrupted and derived away from survival areas.
Whales also communicate by singing with one another. Whales also use sounds to find their prey. Noise pollution due to shipping activities creates problems of hearing in whales that may cause death. Noise pollution affects the breeding and feeding activities of whales. This leads to the extinction of whales at large.
Change in Climate:
A rapid climate change due to human activities is impacting marine life. The climate is changing too fast; whales cannot adapt to these climate changes. Climate changes are creating many factors; a rise in sea level, acidification.
Due to these climate changes, many marine animals move to other places that may cause a shortage of food for whales. So changes in climate to a great extent have also exposed whales to extinction.
Lack of Habitats
Loss of habitats is another leading factor that has made whales an extinct marine species. Lack of habitats is due to the construction of inland dams in rivers. Hurricanes also destroy marine habitats. Moreover, ship containers and tankers also damage marine habitats with hulls and anchors. The wide use of ships and boats by tourists is also causing damage to the habitats of marine animals. So the loss of habitats is also exposing whales to an extinct species.