Area of Impact
Protect More Species
By supporting protections through international agreements like CITES and local governments.
How does one species impact the entire ecosystem? Imagine a landscape painted with a single color. Beautiful still, but maybe just a fraction of what it could be. To capture the essence of the scenery, multiple vibrant colors shine and blend into each other– striking as individuals, but working as one to bring the piece to life.
For example the ecosystem landscape in the absence of the humpback whale, would be like attempting to paint a lake scene without the color blue. Vital and irreplaceable, whales fertilize our ocean and ensure its survival.
The humpback whale filter feeds on small fish and crustaceans, favoring krill. All along their possible 5,000 mile (8,000 km) journey from tropical breeding grounds to cooler feeding locations, the humpback whale deposits nuggets of nutrient-rich waste into the water column. Their feces feeds phytoplankton and zooplankton– primary producers for the basis of the food web. A multitude of species feed on these two ecological powerhouses.
Additionally, as photosynthesizers, they contribute extensively to carbon sequestration, removing greenhouse gasses from our atmosphere. After the phytoplankton and zooplankton yield an influx of abundance in the ocean in the humpback whale’s wake, the giants return to balance the ecosystem once more. This incredible feedback mechanism is referred to as the “poop loop!”
This single species directly unifies thousands of miles of ocean in its migration alone. An incredible impact that perfectly exemplifies why wedge three in the Rebuilding Marine Life Roadmap, “protect more species”, is imperative in our journey to rewild our ocean.