Endangered species

Map showing the range of the eastern and western populations of Atlantic bluefin tuna and their spawning grounds in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

This map is based on electronic tagging of Atlantic bluefin tuna from 1996 to 2007. Credit: Tag-A-Giant Foundation and Stanford University Buyers examine tuna lining the floor of Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan...
Phoenix the right whale diving in North Atlantic.

A Tale of a Right Whale

Suspended at the center of the Sant Ocean Hall is a life-size model of a North Atlantic right whale named Phoenix. The result of four years of work, and collaboration between exhibit fabricators, whale...
A right whale breaches, lifting its huge body out of the water.

North Atlantic Right Whale

Stretching up to 16.8 meters (55 feet) long and weighing up to 62 tons (70 tons), the North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s largest animals—and one of the most endangered whales...
A young Kemp's ridley sea turtle in recovery.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle recovers from oil

A young Kemp's ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys kempii ) recovers at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Turtles were cleaned and nursed back to health...
A crocodile sits in water at Sundarbans National Park in India.

Sundarbans National Park, India

The Sundarbans National Park site in India was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987. The site, located in the Ganges delta, contains the world's largest mangrove forest and hosts a number of...

Marine Forensics

Forensics is a key tool for enforcing the laws and treaties that protect marine animals. Investigators in a recent case used DNA analysis to track down and convict sea turtle poachers. All seven species...
Orange roughy and various marine species, bycatch, on the deck of a research trawler

Rough Going for Orange Roughy

Orange roughy and bycatch on the deck of a research trawler off the east coast of Tasmania. Credit: Stephen McGowan, Australian Maritime College, 2006/Marine Photobank In the dark, cold waters 600 meters (nearly 2000...
An underwater photo of Southern Bluefin Tuna swimming above a fish farm net.

Tunas and Marlins Officially Classified as Threatened

The Southern Bluefin Tuna ( Thunnus maccoyii ) is listed as "critically endangered" on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species . If its population continues to decline, the species faces the possibility of...
The currents of the North Pacific gyre collect trash—mostly bits of microscopic plastic—into what are known as "garbage patches."

Ocean Trash Plaguing Our Sea

Garbage patches in the ocean aren't piled-up islands of trash and debris, as is the common perception. But that doesn't mean the tiny, swirling plastic bits are nothing to worry about. The currents of...
Polar bears are threatened by a lack of sea ice.

Climate Change at the Poles

Polar bears are threatened by the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. Credit: K. Elliott, NOAA, Hidden Ocean 2005 At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic...
A newly hatched leatherback turtle moves in the sand.

Habitat for Leatherback Turtles

Endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles now have nearly 42,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean to call their own. Thanks to a decision in January 2012 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, these magnificent reptiles...
Freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark held by fisherman with knife.

Shark Finning: Sharks Turned Prey

A fisherman holds a freshly cut dorsal fin from a scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini). Every year, humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks. Removing sharks in large numbers can have ripple effects that...
Hawaiian Monk Seal

Endangered Ocean Animals

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law on December 28, 1973 by President Nixon. Over 2,000 species are currently on the ESA, and they are separated into "Threatened" and "Endangered" species. Endangered...
A manatee swims in Crystal River, Florida.

From Mermaids to Manatees: the Myth and the Reality

Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) swimming within a fresh water spring on Crystal River in Florida. Note the tree roots on the right of the frame which make up a portion of this unique...
A juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle emerges from the nest

Taking the Temperature of the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) often emerge from their nests during the day, which is a rare (and dangerous) thing for sea turtle hatchlings! Credit: Terry Ross ( Flickr ) The...
A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is returned to the ocean.

Images: Conserving Endangered Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles

Esther Horvath began documenting the efforts to protect Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles on the coasts of the United States three years ago. The work that goes into the recovery of this endangered species is...

Sea Turtles Return to the Sea

Sea turtles face many obstacles throughout their lives—net entanglement, light pollution, mistaking plastic for food—among the many that are caused by humans. Get a glimpse of what goes on behind-the-scenes of a sea turtle...
Hawaiian Monk Seal

Backbone of Biodiversity at Risk

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. In a 2010 study...