World Environment Day

Three blue whales breaching in the Southern Ocean.
Scientists have used DNA analysis to identify three populations of Antarctic blue whales. (Photo: Paula Olsen)

Today’s World Environment Day ‘Go wild for wildlife’ theme encourages us to celebrate plant and animal species under threat, and take action to help safeguard them for future generations.

Through the Australian Marine Mammal Centre at the Australian Antarctic Division, scientists have analysed the DNA of critically endangered Antarctic blue whales and discovered three genetically distinct populations.  

The finding, published in Scientific Reports in March, will inform management measures to help the whales recover from 20th Century whaling, which reduced their numbers from some 239 000 individuals to just 360.

Read more about the research in DNA reveals three populations of Antarctic blue whales.