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Right Whale Is Now Critically Endangered, Global Group Finds

Courtesy Campobello Whale Rescue
A juvenile male right whale tangled in fishing gear was rescued off Campobello Island, Aug. 13, 2016.

PORTLAND, Maine - A worldwide conservation organization says the status of a rare species of whale has worsened to the point where it deserves greater attention from the global environmental community. The International Union for Conservation of Nature said Thursday it is moving the North Atlantic right whale from "endangered'' to "critically endangered'' on its Red List of jeopardized species.

The Switzerland-based organization's Red List is one of the most-cited endangered species lists in the world.

The IUCN says the total population of the whales declined about 15% from 2011 to 2018. The population is estimated to be about 400 animals now.