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The big comeback: It’s time to declare victory for Australian humpback whale conservation

Bejder, L., Friedlaender, A., Johnston, D. and Smith, J. (2015) The big comeback: It’s time to declare victory for Australian humpback whale conservation. The Conversation, 25 July 2015 .

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Abstract

When it comes to conservation, good news is pretty thin on the ground – and the ocean, for that matter. We have grown much more used to hearing about marine species that face extinction, decline or negative impacts than about those that are thriving. But if we are to avoid getting demoralised, conservation biology needs victories to celebrate.

So here’s one: the remarkable recovery of humpback whales that breed in Australian waters. Our review of the available data, published today in Marine Policy, suggests that humpback whale populations in Australian waters have recovered to the extent that we should consider downlisting them from the official list of threatened species.

The humpback whale should be a cause for optimism and hope. It’s an important counterbalance to the seemingly relentless communication of marine conservation problems with little in the way of good news. We hope this kind of optimism will convince politicians and the public that conservation problems can indeed be solved, and to stay dedicated to making that happen.

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
Publishers Website: http://theconversation.com/au
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29686
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