Throughout the past century, species across the globe have been faced with the danger of extinction. A couple of these species on the endangered list include the honeybee and humpback whales, which have seen their population diminish for various reasons. Most of these species’ rapid decline has been impacted by humans.
At one point in the last three-hundred years, the humpback whale had an estimated population of around 200,000 throughout the world. But, after the industry of whaling increased throughout the world, their population decreased to about 30% of the original size (or 60,000). It wasn’t until 1986 that the world came together to ban the industry all together. Although, even with the ban, some countries such as Norway, Japan, and Iceland have continued to hunt whales.
In the past year, scientists have been able to report that the population in the South Atlantic has regained the original population as it was before the whaling industry – before whaling, their population was 25,000 and after whaling there were only around 450 whales in this area. The study which found these numbers was researched by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) – the organization to ban whaling in the first place. The study was conducted from 2006 until 2015, and the researchers found that the populations seemed to have regained the original size before whaling. So, even though humans are the cause for the decline, communities and organizations have been working to see this method of hunting die out in the next few decades by opposing the idea to bring back the dying industry.
Alongside the increase of humpback whales, scientists have also seen a gradual increase in the honeybee population, which has been slowly disappearing over the past few decades. Honeybees have been proven to be an essential aspect of maintaining ecosystems due to their pollination, and with the increase of insecticides and other environmental factors, the species has been slowly dying off. Although, in 2019, the population has seen a small increase in the population. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the population has only seen an increase in 2019, while the past four years (2015-2018) had all seen up to a 3% decline. So even though there has been a small increase, the overall population is continuing to grow despite the overall consensus that they’re dying off.
Overall, these two species have been classified as endangered, but with more interest around the world to protect these species, there is hope they will return to their original populations in the near future.