The Beacon

Saving the Whales...Via Their Poop?

Props to the folks over at the Science blog Zooillogix for a great post this week about scientists in New England who are studying the Atlantic's threatened population of right whales by collecting and analyzing their floating, um, poop. Joking aside, analyzing whale poop -- or any other method of determining the health of certain whale populations -- is apparently needed. This week, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species revealed that while there is some good news for whales and some bad, the bottom line was that more data is needed. The IUCN was unable to assess more than half of the world's cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) because of a lack of data. As a source from the BBC story says, "Conservationists warned that the outlook for the world's cetaceans could be worse than thought because more than half of the species on the Red List were classified as Data Deficient ... In many ways, the Red List has a value in showing where there are holes in our knowledge that need to be filled quickly." So carry on, pooper scoopers -- the whales need you! [Image via http://animals.nationalgeographic.com]


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