The Rice’s whale, also known as the Gulf of Mexico whale, can be as big as a railroad boxcar and as heavy as a typical fire truck and is the only large whale species that lives year-round in the waters of the United States. And because of fossil fuel exploration development and other human activities, it is also the most endangered large whale species in the world. Only about 50 of these rare whales remain. Join us in urging the Biden administration to protect the endangered Gulf of Mexico whale from extinction.
Continued oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico represents a clear, existential threat to the whale’s survival and recovery. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster alone wiped out nearly 20 percent of the Gulf of Mexico whale population. Today, government scientists have concluded that the death of even a single reproductive-age female would jeopardize the existence of this species.
Even day-to-day oil and gas operations negatively impact the habitat of these whales. Seismic air gun surveys create near-constant blasting sounds across the northern Gulf as fossil fuel companies search for oil and gas deposits beneath the ocean. These deafening blasts are masking vital whale calls that marine mammals depend on to communicate, navigate, and find food over large ocean areas. And since Gulf of Mexico whales spend a lot of time hanging out within 50 feet of the water’s surface, they are especially at risk from ship strikes.
Gulf of Mexico whales can recover as long as conditions improve, but that all depends on our actions. Unless the Biden administration takes significant conservation actions, the U.S. is likely to cause the first extinction of a great whale species resulting from human activity. We cannot let that happen. Send a message today urge the protection of these whales and solutions for their recovery.