Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

List of Top Endangered Whales

Whales have always been at risk for extinction due to the years of hunting they were forced to endure. Although not all of the whales we see are close to extinction, many breeds are starting to show signs of endangerment as a result of additional man-made problems, such as climate change, collisions with boats, litter in the ocean and oil spills. So, which breeds are at risk? Check out our list of endangered whales below to find out why their population is declining at such a rapid rate.


  • Bowhead Whales. Ever find yourself asking, “What is the most endangered whale?” Well, here is your answer. The bowhead whale is thought to be the most endangered whale due to its unique characteristics, such as its 16 foot long skull that aids in breaking through ice and it’s body composed of thick blubber. The thick blubber attracted whale hunters, and they were hunted for 400 years, which reduced their population down to 8 percent of its previous average.
  • Humpback Whales. Humpback whales are located primarily in warmer water but some migrate from Costa Rica to Antarctica. Despite the fact that this species is categorized by nine different breeds, the population is still suffering from the centuries of whale hunting. The four most endangered whales of the humpback whale population are located in Central America, Cape Verde, Arabian Sea and Western North Pacific.
  • Right Whales. Just like bowhead and humpback whales, right whales suffered greatly from years of hunting. They even got their name by hunters since they swam close to the shore and floated to the top of waters after being killed, therefore being the “right whales” to go after. Even though there are 3 different types of right whales located in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and and Southern oceans, this species is nearly extinct.
  • Beluga Whales. Belugas are one of the most endangered toothed whales. They are known for being extremely vocal and are even nicknamed “chirrups.” Their bodies are extremely toxic, so their populations in the United States are mostly stable. However, there are only about 280 left of Alaska’s Cook Inlet beluga as a result of ship collision and pollution.
  • Narwhals. Narwhals are fascinating looking, due to their white color and long, ivory tusks. They are one of the only three breeds of whales to reside in the Arctic. Narwhals are endangered due to hunters looking to sell their tusks for thousands of dollars. There is a report issued of a ship collision every now and then, but their population is expected to greatly suffer as a result of rising sea levels from melting ice caps.