Marine mammals—such as whales, porpoises, seals and sea lions—have long been considered to be some of the most spectacular and majestic megafauna on earth. For generations, they have captured the attention and imagination of peoples and cultures all over the world.
Despite their beauty and the awe they inspire, virtually every species of marine mammal is listed as threatened or endangered, largely due to the direct and indirect impacts of human activities. Hundreds of years of aggressive hunting, combined with habitat destruction, marine noise, chemical pollution and increased shipping traffic have reduced populations to just a fraction of their original numbers. Several species are facing imminent extinction.
Our Marine Mammal Fund provides grants to projects focusing on a variety of research and conservation initiatives, such as new technologies that can help warn whales of incoming ships, reducing the number of fatal collisions. There are substantial scientific research questions still to be answered for many species, such as migration patterns, breeding habits, and the bioaccumulation of toxins. Studies such as these can help us make better decisions about shipping routes, the siting of new infrastructure projects, and the selection of marine reserves, all of which can give marine mammal populations a better chance of survival.
Download the informational 1-sheet on our Marine Mammal Fund.
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