News & Highlights

Western Gray Whale

International scientists track endangered whale to discover breeding grounds

A team of scientists from Russia and the United States has successfully tagged and is tracking by satellite an individual from one of the world’s most endangered whale populations – a western gray whale - off the coast of Russia’s Sakhalin Island. IUCN has been involved in the tagging and tracking process, providing scientific advice and logistical support. …  

02 Dec 2010 | News story

Whale photo

Saving western gray whales: Ask your questions before 6 December!

Business has joined forces with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to protect the critically endangered western gray whale population. You are invited to send us your questions on this unique collaboration to save the whales. …  

26 Nov 2010 | News story
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Gray whale

Endangered whales at risk from rush to exploit offshore oil and gas in Russian Far East

In 1974 the western North Pacific population of gray whales was thought to be extinct. Thankfully, to quote Mark Twain, news of its demise was “exaggerated” but sadly, not “greatly exaggerated”. Today, a slowly growing population, numbering perhaps 130, visits the northeastern coast of Russia’s Sakhalin Island each summer to feed. This population is imminently threatened unless the Russian Government postpones a planned seismic survey. …  

03 Aug 2010 | Article
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Tail fin of Western Gray Whale

IWC greatly concerned about Russian oil exploration impacts on Western Gray Whales

At the International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting in Agadir, Morocco, scientists warned that a seismic survey planned off Sakhalin Island by the Russian petroleum company Rosneft could seriously threaten the critically endangered Western Gray Whale population. 

25 Jun 2010 | News story

Breaching gray whale

Seismic threat to Critically Endangered whales

A seismic survey planned by the Russian petroleum company Rosneft in summer 2010 poses a major threat to the Critically Endangered Western Gray Whale population. In a letter to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Julia Marton-Lefèvre, urges the Russian government to intervene to postpone the seismic survey and prevent a serious setback for animal conservation.   …  

24 May 2010 | International news release

Western Gray Whale and ship.

Can scientists and oil consortium save endangered whales?

Survival and recovery of the Western Gray Whale population depends on continued and strengthened collaboration among scientists, governments and industry. The 8th meeting of the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel, held in Geneva on 16-18 April 2010, promoted this crucial multi-stakeholder dialogue and led to the development of new recommendations to minimize industry impacts on endangered whales. 

23 Apr 2010 | News story

Whale photograph

Dead western gray whale found at Sakhalin

A western gray whale carcass was found washed ashore at Chaivo Bay, Sakhalin Island, by a local hunter in early September. …  

25 Oct 2009 | News story

Whale photographe

Panel strongly concerned about industry’s negative impact on whale

Significant changes in the distribution and behaviour of whales was noted in the 2008 feeding season off Sakhalin Island. An independent panel of scientists has recommended a moratorium on all activities by oil and gas companies in eastern Russia that could adversely affect the western gray whale population. …  

25 Jun 2009 | News story

Tail fin of Western Gray Whale

IUCN welcomes reprieve for whales

IUCN is delighted that Sakhalin Energy followed the advice of an expert panel and stopped all seismic surveys affecting the Western Gray Whale. …  

28 Apr 2009 | News story

Western Gray Whale and ship.

Stop all oil and gas activities that could harm Western Gray Whales, says panel

An independent panel of scientists has recommended a moratorium on all activities by oil and gas companies in eastern Russia that could adversely affect the Western Gray Whale population. …  

24 Apr 2009 | International news release