New population estimate suggests only 356 North Atlantic right whales left

There are just 356 North Atlantic right whales left in the world, according to a newly released estimate that is down from last year’s population count for the endangered species and which one scientist calls “gut wrenching.”

The latest numbers are from the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, which is meeting this week and brings together scientists, shipping and fishing industries, and government agencies.

The population last year was estimated at 409, and researchers who study the right whales say the latest numbers are devastating.

And the time to act is running out.

“We have to do it now. We cannot say, ‘OK, let’s do a few more studies,'” Hamilton said. “We know they’re dying. We know they’re getting entangled. We just have to up the protection measures.”

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