Endangered Mammals of the United Kingdom

A fin whale off the coast of England. Fin whales are among the endangered mammals of the United Kingdom.
A fin whale off the coast of England. Fin whales are among the endangered mammals of the United Kingdom.

Endangered species are plants or animals whose population is decreasing at a startling rate. With endangered species, there is the threat of being extinct over a given period of time. Some endangered species in the United Kingdom are mammals such as North Atlantic Right whales, Sej whales, and fin whales. The descriptions of these whales and their threats are discussed below.

The 4 endangered species of whales in the United Kingdom

Sei Whales

Sei whales belong to the family of baleen whales. Compared to the blue whale and fin whale, sei whales are the third largest. They are found in all oceans and are most often found in deep off-shore waters like the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and the Southern Hemisphere. There are several reasons why sei whales are endangered. Firstly, they are being hunted by the Japanese for scientific research purposes. Secondly, sei whales can be struck by ships if they get entangled in the fishing gear. There is a need to protect sei whales since they affect the overall health of the marine environment. Different initiatives have been taken to protect the sei whales such as the enactment of the "Marine Mammal Protection Act" and "Endangered Species Act."

Fin Whales

The fin whale is a mammal which originates from the marine waters. It is the second largest in size after the blue whale. The fin whale is also a member of the baleen whale family. Some of the common characteristics of the fin whale are a pale lower side and a brownish-grey color with a lean and long body. Since the 19th century, fin whales have been threatened by modern whaling and commercial whaling. However, commercial whaling is no longer a threat to whales since there is a decrease in the market demand for their products. Furthermore, the commercial whaling catch limits have been set to zero since 1986.

North Atlantic Right Whale

The North Atlantic right whale also belongs to the baleen family. This whale is found in the Atlantic Ocean. Recently, the population size of the North Atlantic right whale was approximated to be 450. They are endangered because ships can run into them which causes severe damage to the whales. Fish nets are another issue because if caught in one, the nets limit the whale's movement which causes them to be unable to swim or feed. Since the North Atlantic right whales are endangered, they are protected from hunting by the Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

Blue Whales

Blue whales are famous for being the largest animals on earth with a size of more than 30m and a weight of over 180,000kgs. They live in almost all of the world's oceans except for the Arctic Ocean. Blue whales also belong to the baleen family of whales. They were formerly endangered because of their large size and supply of blubber which is commonly sold to suppliers. However, in the recent past, the number of blue whales has been rising significantly because they are no longer harvested. The only threat to the whale currently is ship strikes and fishing net entanglements.

The state of the whales' threats

Generally, the numbers of whales have been observed to be increasing. This is because there is neither commercial whaling nor modern whaling which allows the whales to live as long as possible. Additionally, the market demand for whale products such as blubber is almost zero.

Endangered Mammals of the United Kingdom

RankScientific NameCommon Name
1Balaenoptera borealisSei whale
2Balaenoptera musculusBlue whale
3Balaenoptera physalusFin Whale
4Eubalaena glacialisNorth Atlantic right whale

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