The Humpback whales summer grounds extend from British Columbia to the Gulf of Alaska. In winter they can be found off Baja, California and Hawaii.
The Humpback whales are usually found in small numbers, but have been in groups as large as 200. The males are 47 feet and the females 49 feet in length, weighing from 25 to 45 tons. They reproduce every two or more years to birth a calf that is 15 feet long and two tons. The calf drinks its mother’s milk until 11 months old and remains with its mother for a year or longer. Males produce a complex whale song, which lasts for 10 to 20 minutes and is repeated for hours at a time. These whales can live between 45 and 50 years of age.
The Humpback whales feed on krill, small shrimp-like crustaceans and a variety of small fish.
Due to commercial whaling less than 2,000 Humpback whales are found in the North Pacific. After becoming protected, the endangered whales are making a comeback. Fisheries and Oceans Canada report the Humpback whale has grown to nearly 20,000 worldwide with approximately 2,000 whales in the northern Pacific. They maintain that the protection be continued to ensure long-term survival for the species.
From a further source which updates the Government of Canada site in another location, the status of the Humpback Whale in Canada has been changed from Endangered to Threatened.
The following information on the Humpback Whale in Canada is from www.wildwhales.org:
"The humpback whale is designated as Threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
"COSEWIC’s assessment of the North Pacific population of humpback whales is as follows:
"Heavily reduced by whaling, the North Pacific population appears to be increasing. The number of animals that use British Columbia waters is probably in the low hundreds. The high-level of feeding ground fidelity suggests that if animals are exterminated from a particular area, it is unlikely that the area will be rapidly repopulated from other areas. Two extirpated British Columbia populations have shown no sign of rescue. Humpbacks are occasionally entangled in fishing gear, though the number entangled is not thought to threaten or limit the population. In summary, humpback whales that use British Columbia waters appear to be well below historical numbers and have not returned to some portions of their former range."
Research: bcadventure.com, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
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