To adequately protect an endangered species, its habitat must also be protected. As a result, the US Endangered Species Act provides a mechanism to designate “Critical Habitat” for listed species. These areas are considered essential to the conservation of the species. In 1994, three specific areas were designated as Critical Habitat for North Atlantic right whales. Two of these areas were in the Northeast where the whales feed and one off the coast of Florida and Georgia, the only known breeding area for the species. Research since 1994 has shown that NA right whales are utilizing additional habitats that are equally important to their survival. At the same time, these habitats are being threatened by acoustic and chemical pollution as a result of proposals to develop energy and military training facilities.
In 2009, WDC, along with The Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity and Ocean Conservancy formally petitioned the US government to increase Critical Habitat for North Atlantic right whales. After receiving no initial response to the request, the groups filed legal action in court demanding the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal agency charged with protecting right whales, consider the merits of the petition. In 2010, the Service indicated that the petition was warranted and Critical Habitat should be increased for the species. However, they have taken no further action to do so.
We need your help! Please add your name to our petition asking the US government to take action and designate additional Critical Habitat to give right whales a chance!
ACTION: ACT RIGHT NOW- SIGN THE PETITION TO INCREASE CRITICAL HABITAT
Ask the US Government to ACT RIGHT NOW and expand the areas designated as Critical Habitat. Please sign our petition and join WDC in saving a species from extinction.