Canada Post is issuing a set of stamps this week to raise awareness about the plight of five whale species that have their status listed as Endangered.
Canadian waters are home to more than 30 whale species. Some of these populations are at risk. Whales continue to die from ship strikes or entanglement in fishing gear and debris. Pollution, climate change and ocean noise also threaten their populations.
The locally known and endangered North Atlantic right whale is included in a group of five featured whales:
- Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) – St. Lawrence Estuary, Cumberland Sound, Ungava Bay
- Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) – Atlantic and Pacific
- Killer whale (Orcinus orca) – Southern resident in the Northeast Pacific
- North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis)
- Northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) – Scotian Shelf
“It’s really important to have these whales recognized as Endangered. This recognition can lead to legal protection. It can also lead organizations and people to act voluntarily to stop activities that harm the whales,” says Dr. Hal Whitehead, a biologist and professor at Dalhousie University and co-chair of the COSEWIC Marine Mammals Specialist Subcommittee. “Thirdly, it raises awareness that we have a problem here, and we need to do something about it.”