On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposed lifting protections on most humpback whales, as the species' population has rebounded after 45 years of restoration efforts. Following the ban of commercial whaling in the '60s, the mammals were listed as endangered in 1970. Now, the NOAA wants to reclassify the whales into 14 different species and remove 10 from the endangered list.
Though some experts think the move might be premature because the species will become vulnerable as oceans respond to climate change, they agree that the population growth demonstrates the efficiency of the Endangered Species Act.
If the proposal passes, it will be the first time in over two decades that the agency delisted a species due to recovery.
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