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Founded 1977

Save The Whales' purpose is to educate children

and adults about marine mammals, their

environment and their preservation. 
Polar Bear

Photograph of Polar Bear

by Mark Cosgriff/Marine Photobank



Sign Petition to

Stop Trade in Polar Bear Parts

Polar bears could lose two-thirds of their population by the end of the century. Due to climate change, the distance they need to swim from shore to sea ice in open water causes the exhausted bears to drown. In addition to the dangers caused by pollution and loss of habitat, there is another threat.

 Every year, an average of 441 bears are killed for trophies and body parts for the international commercial trade. All other countries with polar bear populations - USA, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway - have banned international trade in their countries, as they view this traffic as a very significant threat to polar bears. In the last five years, prices for polar bear pelts at Canadian auctions have more than doubled from $2,079 in 2007 to $5,211 in 2012. The number of polar bears being killed has grown alongside the price for skins.  

  On March 3, 2013 in Bangkok,Thailand, the Sixteenth Meeting of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) begins.The USA, supported by Russia, has proposed that polar bears receive the highest protection at the CITES convention. The proposal requests that polar bears are listed on Appendix I, which would mean a ban on international commercial trade. Canada is the only country that allows legal hunting of polar bears solely for the purpose of international trade and sport. The majority of the world wants to see polar bears protected, not hunted for pelts, skulls, claws and other body parts.    Save The Whales is asking for your help to end this polar bear hunt and trade. Invite your friends and family to help with this email campaign. You can make a difference for the polar bears.

 Go to this link to sign the petition addressed to Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.  You will have to scroll down to the last petition on page.


dead porpoise, Central Coast, California
Dead porpoise, Central Coast of California.


Victory for Thousands of Marine Mammals, 
  Fish, Birds, The Environment and Humans 

DEFEATING seismic testing by Pacific Gas & Electric off the Central California coast was a major victory. The project go-ahead was denied by the California Coastal Commission. Save The Whales, along with numerous groups of citizens, indigenous people, animal and conservation groups, worked together to defeat testing. Thousands of marine animals would have been killed or injured.

  Thank you to everyone who signed our petition, wrote letters, went to meetings and attended the California Coastal Commission hearing in Santa Monica, CA where every commissioner voted down Pacific Gas & Electric's bid to do seismic testing off the Central Coast of California.   


Rafting Otters
Photo of Rafting Otters  by Thomas R. Kieckhefer 


Permission Granted for 

Expansion of Sea Otter Range


A 25-year ban on the no-otter zone in Southern California has been lifted by the Federal Government. In 1987, the no-otter zone was established. It was an artificial zone that prohibited California Sea Otters from living in the waters of the entire southern coast of California, from Pt. Conception (just north of Santa Barbara, CA) to the Mexican border. The Zone's purpose was to restrain the range of the otters into Southern California because of pressure brought by fishing and oil industry interests.    

  The end of the ban south of Point Conception extends federal protection to Southern California Sea Otters throughout their historic range along California's coast. With the ban lifted (otters never understood and didn't recognize the boundaries), otters can travel freely into Southern California waters without the threat of being captured and returned to Northern California. Being caged and transported caused great stress to the animals and even death. Before the otter was hunted to near extinction, there were 12,000 to 16,000 animals in the area from Oregon to Baja, Mexico.  

  The otter population - which numbers around 2,800 animals - has been stagnant since 2008, and it is hoped that lifting the ban will see a population increase.

  This issue was featured in our September 2011 Eletter. Thank you to everyone who went to Federal Government site and asked that the ban be lifted.                                                                                                 
The defeat of seismic testing was a major victory.  Please continue helping animals by signing petitions, writing letters, making statements on government websites, and attending public meetings. Your actions make a difference. Thank you for all that we have accomplished.

M1 signature   

Maris Sidenstecker I
Executive Director, Save The Whales
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Save The Whales 

Voted Top-Rated Nonprofit 2011  


Southern Right Whale Adopts Calf


In South Africa, a southern right whale mother with her own calf, appears to have adopted an orphaned calf that had previously been alone.

  A tour company in Africa, African Wings, does whale watching with airplanes to view right whales over the five-month period that the whales spend in the nursing and mating waters off South Africa's Western Cape.

  Generally speaking, a mother whale caring for a calf will not usually take on an orphaned calf  as  caring for a single calf is a time-consuming task.           
  When the calf first approached the mother and attempted to nurse, she reacted negatively.
(Twin births are exceedingly rare.)  

  African Wings had viewed the scenario by air and had seen three calf-cow pairs and the lone calf. The mother tried to swim away from the orphaned calf, but it was probably very hungry and wanted to drink from her and would not give up.  

 Upon a later viewing from the air, the crew saw both calves nursing. Later they viewed the two calves playing with each other. One would  lie on its side with a pectoral fin on its friend's back.

The rare event is being documented by African Wings during the five months that the cetaceans spend in coastal nursing and mating waters off South Africa's Western Cape.
Southern right whales are born between May and August. Researcher Alisa Schulman-Janiger said from a photo image that both calves appear reasonably plump. In the fall, they head for the Antarctic feeding grounds.    

False Killer Whale Listed as Endangered

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a regulation listing the Hawaiian insular false killer whale as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. 

The small population of around 150 animals is demographically isolated, range-limited to the main Hawaiian Islands, and threatened by numerous stressors including bycatch, overfishing, toxins, and noise.  

In its listing notice, NMFS concurred with the finding of its expert review team that the population stands at a high risk of functional extinction within 75 years.

Among other things, the listing will require the agency to identify and protect the whales' critical habitat, to regulate activities that affect them, and to produce a recovery plan. 


Source: Michael Jasny,   

Director, Marine Mammal Protection Project  - 

Natural Resources Defense Council


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