Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling

It’s Time To Breach The Snake River Dams

The Snake River dams were controversial even before they were built.  While they were still...
Save the whale. Save the world.

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins, and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Nat Geo for Disney+ Luis Lamar

Five Facts About Orcas

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most recognizable and popular species...
Alexi Archer cropped

Meet the 2022 Interns: Alexi Archer

I am thrilled to welcome Alexi to WDC as the newest member of our Marine...
Saya

Meet the 2022 Interns: Saya Butani

I'm happy to welcome the newest member of the WDC team, Saya Butani, who is...
Block Island wind credit: Regina Asutis-Silvia

Offshore Wind: Don’t Blow It

Recently, new areas were added to the growing list of potential sites for offshore wind...
Sierra

Meet the 2022 Interns: Sierra Osborne

I'm delighted to introduce WDC's Conservation Education intern for Summer 2022, Sierra Osborne! Without hesitation,...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...

Take Action on This Hump(back) Day!

In just a few days, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will receive comments from the public on NMFS’s proposal to remove humpback whales from protections under the Endangered Species Act.  WDC has been campaigning to keep these whales (specifically the North Atlantic Humpback population) listed as endangered species because they have not yet fully recovered due to a combination of threats from human activity. 

You can help by signing our petition.

There is a growing body of research that shows whales are sentient beings who have cultures and individual personalities.  Last week, staff and interns from WDC’s North American office were fortunate to spend a day on the water with these endangered creatures, some of whom were clearly displaying evidence of culture and personality while feeding.  Kick feeding is a behavior ONLY documented in whales in the North Atlantic, however not all whales in the region utilize this technique.  This shows that it is a behavior passed directly from individual to individual.  It could also be considered a more “modern” technique, as it seems to be more common among younger individuals. 

Below you can see Banyan, a member of the Gulf of Maine population, demonstrating this very behavior.  He has a particular method to his kick feeding, where he always slaps his tail twice on the surface before going below to corral prey by blowing bubbles and surfacing with mouth wide open to scoop up the fish.  

We later came across a humpback whale named Drip, who had a very different style of feeding. The next video shows Drip in action.  For over an hour, we watched her catch a mouthful of fish, roll over slowly onto her back and lay there for a short time at the surface before rolling back and repeating the process all over again. 

You could ask any humpback whale researcher in the Gulf of Maine to tell you about their whale watching experience and they will tell you stories about individuals they’ve seen over the years and how their personalities emerged, either through unique behaviors or associations with other individual whales. 

WDC believes that humpback whales, like Banyan and Drip, should remain on the Endangered Species List so that they can pass their unique behaviors and culture on to future generations.  While they are no longer threatened by commercial whaling, they face a number of other man-made threats globally. Since April of this year, six humpback whales in the North Atlantic alone have been documented entangled in fishing gear. 

Please help us tell NMFS that humpback whales should remain protected by signing our petition.  Be sure to follow WDC for all the latest updates as we continue to fight for their safety throughout this process.  We need to learn a lot more information before we can say whether or not humpbacks have recovered enough to be removed from endangered status.