Whale and gorilla populations are on the rise thanks to the fight against poaching.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has announced that mountain gorillas and two whale species are less threatened than before thanks to anti-poaching efforts.

According to a study by the World Conservation Union published on 14 November 2018, the situation of whales and mountain gorillas, once in serious danger, has improved thanks to the fight against hunting and poaching.

Fin whale population reaches 100  000 specimens

The fin whale, the largest animal in the world after the blue whale, is no longer classified as an “endangered” species. The 20-metre-long species has almost doubled since the 1970s, thanks in part to whaling bans, allowing the world population to reach about 100 000 specimens. The status of grey whales has also improved from Critically Endangered to Endangered.

Fin whales have almost doubled since the 1970s. Crédit : Mogens Trolley / Shutterstock

“The improvement follows international bans on commercial whaling in the North Pacific and the Southern Hemisphere, in force since 1976, and significant reductions in North Atlantic catches since 1990”. says IUCN

Largest number of gorillas ever recorded

The population of mountain gorillas has also increased, there are now 1 000, the highest number ever recorded for this subspecies. However, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature states that mountain gorillas are still threatened and that conservation programmes must continue to ensure their survival.

Limiting the number of tourists and preventing close contact with humans has been essential to ensure their future in a region with a growing human population.

Today there are 1 000 mountain gorillas Crédit : Marian Galovic / Shutterstock

Ever-present threats

“This new update of the Red List illustrates the scope of conservation actions, through improvements in the status of fin whales and mountain gorillas”. says IUCN Director General Inger Andersen in a statement. Unfortunately 26 840 species on 96 951 are still threatened with extinction, threatening biodiversity and affecting food security.

The update of the Red List has seen the introduction of venison, a dark pink-brown African wood. Overfelling of this tree for furniture and floor coverings places it in the “endangered” category. Recently, we learned that 60% of wild animals have disappeared from the face of the Earth since 1970.

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