PARIS : '' Back from the brink.'' Migratory species on the road to recovery :

While a landmark new report on the world's threatened migratory species is a catalogue of decline and destruction, the handful of animals staging a comeback shows improvement is possible - if humans change their ways.  

For hundreds of years, whalers from across the planet hunted humpback whales for their oil, meat and baleen - their feeding filtration system.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature [ IUCN ] they were targeted by early hunters in their wintering areas near the West Indies and Cape Verde, then near their summer feeding grounds from the 1860s, especially off Iceland and Norway.

In the Pacific they were hunted particularly by Japanese whalers. In 1986 the IUCN had listed the species as globally endangered.

International restrictions on commercial whaling allowed the humpback whale population to rebound and today, more than 80,000 mature individuals navigate throughout the world's oceans.

Vicunas, a LLama-like creature that roams wild in parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, is one of the few undomesticated animals sought for its wool.

Illegal poaching brought vicunas to the brink of extinction. But numbers are now increasing thanks to legal protection from hunting, an international trade ban and education initiatives and the vicuna conservation status that changed from near threatened to least concern.

But threats from poaching for the illegal market, habitat encroachment and climate change remain. [AFP] 


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