A whale of a success story: Humpbacks exit endangered species list

On Tuesday, federal authorities removed nearly all populations of humpback whales from the endangered species list, as one of the Earth’s largest mammals has bounced back from the effects of widespread commercial whaling and other environmental dangers.

The clearance for the majority of humpback whales joins another conservation announcement this week, which removed giant pandas from the endangered species list. Together, the changes mark a significant moment of progress for conservation efforts around the world after nearly half a century of protecting two of the most iconic symbols of the movement. But conservationists still warn that despite the hard-won victories, the species remain vulnerable.

“Today’s news is a true ecological success story,” Eileen Sobeck, the assistant administrator for fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in a statement. READ MORE.