WWF: Time to Protect Chile’s Blue Whales

June 5th, 2007 2:34 pm by Kelly Garbato

Via the World Wildlife Fund:

Time to Protect Chile’s Blue Whales

The Gulf of Corcovado and Chiloe coast in Southern Chile is one of the most important feeding and calving grounds for the highly endangered blue whale, the largest animal ever known to have existed on planet earth.

Since the unique importance of the area was discovered in 2003, WWF and its partners have worked to obtain a government decree to protect an area that supports not only the blue whale, but dozens of other marine mammals including humpback whales and the Chilean dolphin.

However, rapid economic growth in the area and increasing fishing, tourism and marine traffic in the Gulf of Corcovado could now pose a threat to blue whales and the larger ecosystem they inhabit.

The approval of a new marine protected area has now been endorsed by the local governments in the region, the Chilean senate, and is strongly supported by conservation organizations and the scientific community. But approval by the Ministry of Defense and a Presidential decree are still needed in order for the area to be finally protected.

Following Chile’s positive role at the recent International Whaling Commission meeting, where the Government strongly advocated for whale conservation, we are now asking the Chilean President to protect blue whales and their habitat.

ACT NOW: Ask the Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, to create the Chiloe and Corcovado Gulf Marine and Coastal Protected Area.

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