The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will prepare a recovery plan for the North Pacific right whale, according to a notice published Tuesday in the Federal Register.
The Center for Biological Diversity last month gave 60-day notice that it intended to sue over the agency’s failure to update its recovery plan for the highly endangered whale. Spokeswoman Rebecca Noblin says only a few dozen remain and they need the full protection of the Endangered Species Act.
There may have been as many as 20,000 right whales in the early 1800s but whalers decimated them. The survivors most years can be found in the Gulf of Alaska or the Bering Sea during summer feeding months.
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service also will update a recovery plan for endangered blue whales.