More than 40 years ago, humpback whales were put on the endangered species list. Fast forward to 2015: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that most of the world's humpback whales could be delisted from endangered species list.
"NOAA Fisheries proposes to revise the ESA listing for the humpback whale to identify 14 Distinct Population Segments (DPS), list 2 as threatened and 2 as endangered, and identify 10 others as not warranted for listing," the administration wrote on its website.
A 2010 study showed conservation efforts worked and the humpback whale population thrived. NOAA has proposed splitting the whale population into 14 groups - 12 of which the administration is recommending to be delisted. Two of those 12 groups will be removed from both the endangered species list and the threatened species list.
"As we learn more about the species - and realize the populations are largely independent of each other - managing them separately allows us to focus protection on the animals that need it the most," said Eileen Sobech, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, according to Uncover California.
Populations of humpback whales in the Arabian Sea and northwest Africa will still be in the endangered list, according to reports from the Federal Register. Two of the population groups from Central America and the western North Pacific will be downgraded to the threatened species list.
The changes could take place in 90 days.