Humpback whale populations have recovered since whaling was banned, some from near extinction. (Credit: Tomas Kotouc/Shutterstock)
In the late 1950s, only 440 humpback whales — or 1.6 percent of their onetime numbers — were swimming around the western South Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to whaling restrictions, these school bus-sized aquatic mammals have started to come back.
Now, a new paper estimates that the Western South Atlantic whales have recovered even better than scientists previously