Humpback whales recovering

August 12, 2008 6:43:23 AM PDT
Good news about the humpback whale. An environmental group says it's on the "road to recovery" and is no longer at high risk of becoming extinct.

Just four decades ago the whale was nearly hunted into history. But The International Union for Conservation of Nature, which puts out its annual Red List of threatened species, says a ban on commercial hunting is paying off. The same thing is happening to the southern "right" whale.

The humpback population is up to at least 60,000 now. There were only a few thousand when the ban took effect in 1966.

On the downside, the group says the rare vaquita porpoise in Mexico's Gulf of California will probably be the next animal of its type to become extinct. It estimates only 150 are left in the wild and they're being accidentally killed in fishing nets.