After being hunted nearly to extinction in the early 20th century, a population of humpback whales in the southern Atlantic Ocean has almost entirely recovered, according to a new study. In the late 1950s, just 440 western South Atlantic humpbacks remained. Today, scientists estimate the population at nearly 25,000 individuals.
“This is a clear example that if we do the right thing, the population will recover,” Alexandre Zerbini, a whale expert with the Seattle Marine Mammal Laboratory and lead author of the new study, told USA Today. “I hope it serves as an example that we can do the same thing for other animal populations.”