The critically endangered species is now under 500 globally as six more whales die suddenly off New Brunswick
National Geographic reports that the carcasses of six right whales were found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, an unprecedented mortality event that bodes ill for yet another species on the brink.
Humans nearly wiped out the North Atlantic right whale in the late 18th century and the species has never fully recovered. Today, they are the rarest whale species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates that only about 350 individual animals still exist, down from over 10,000 a century and a half ago. Canada’s department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada estimate is closer to 500.