The Channel Islands Cetacean Research Unit has reported the finding of a dead Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, on a beach in the Ocean Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, to the south of San Francisco, on Friday 9 November 2018. The animal, which is thought to have been a subadult, is between 10 and 12 m in length, and appears to have been dead for several days before washing up on the beach. The cause of death is unclear at the current time, though the organisation intends to take samples from the carcass to determine this before the Whale is buried by California State Parks.
Dead Humpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, on a beach in the Ocean Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, on Friday 9 November 2018. Chanel Islands Cetacean Research Unit.
Humpback Whales were nearly exterminated by commercial Whaling in the first part of the twentieth century. The species has been protected since 1946, and in recent years their population has appeared to be recovering in many areas, now being seen as being of Least Concern under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. The Whales appear to be doing well off the American west coast, and are regularly sited off the coast of California, which also means that Whale strandings are becoming increasingly common, as such events become more likely when there are more Whales.
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