About blue whale

Additional info

Salinity Marine
Depth From 80 to 500 meters
Length 3300 cm
Max Weight 160 cm
Red List Crit. Endangered
Threat to Human Not Evaluated

Known names


Balaena borealis, Balaena maximus, Balaena musculus, Balaenoptera carolinae, Balaenoptera gigas, Balaenoptera indica, Balaenoptera jubartes, Balaenoptera miramaris, Balaenoptera sibbaldi, Balaenoptera sibbaldii, Physalus latirostris, Physalus sibbaldii, Pterobalaena gigas, Pterobalaena grypus, Rorqualus boops, Rorqualus borealis, Rorqualus major, Sibbaldius antarcticus, Sibbaldius borealis, Sibbaldius musculus

Local names
China 剃刀鲸, 白长须鲸, 蓝鲸
Red List Status

The cause of the population reduction of Blue Whales, Baleanoptera musculus, (commercial whaling) is reversible, understood, and is not currently operating. For this reason, the species is assessed under criterion A1, not under A2, A3 or A4. Assuming a 31-year generation time, the 3-generation window for criterion A is the period 1926-2018. The global mature population size in 1926 was probably around 140,000. The current global mature population size is uncertain but likely to be in the range 5,000-15,000. This corresponds to a reduction of 89%-97%, which overlaps the boundary of Critically Endangered and Endangered with respect to past reduction under the A1 criterion (90% reduction over three generations). Given the evidence of increase in those regions where the species was most depleted (Antarctic and North Atlantic), Endangered (A1abd) seems the most appropriate category at this time, taking into account both the current population level and the likely global trend. The dominant contribution to the reduction in the global population was the massive reduction of the formerly very large Antarctic population. The Antarctic subspecies (B. m. intermedia) is included in this assessment, but is also separately listed as Critically Endangered.

Related Species

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