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Nov
29

IUCN and Sakhalin Energy Work Together To Save Gray Whales

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, http://www.iucn.org/ , is working with Sakhalin Energy, the operator of the Sakhalin II project, to help the company minimize risks to the western gray whales and their habitat. The western Pacific population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) ,or western gray whale, estimated at about 135 individuals, including perhaps 30-35 reproductive females. The western gray whale population was listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as critically endangered in 2003.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, http://www.iucn.org/ , is working with Sakhalin Energy, the operator of the Sakhalin II project, to help the company minimize risks to the western gray whales and their habitat. The western Pacific population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) or western gray whale, is estimated to have only about 135 individuals.  There may be as few as 30-35 reproductive females. The western gray whale population was listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as critically endangered in 2003.

The waters off Sakhalin Island are of particular significance to the conservation of the western gray whale, as the only feeding areas regularly used by this population occur there. Whales feed for only about half of the year, in the summer, and stock energy and fat for their migration and winter calving and mating seasons.

In 2006, in cooperation with Sakhalin Energy, IUCN created a panel of independent scientists – the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel– which provides scientific advice and recommendations on the company’s operations planning and mitigation measures. The panel consists of 11 scientists from a broad range of scientific disciplines.

The IUCN maintains several web sites discussing its western gray whale activities at Sakhalin.  These include www.iucn.org/wgwap/ and http://www.iucn-csg.org/index.php/western-gray-whale/

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