The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is one species of whales that was hunted mercilessly during the IX and early XX centuries and was taken to the verge of extinction. After many years and numerous conservation efforts the global population of gray whales has recovered and there are now between 18,000 and 24,000 of these gentle giants.
Gray whales make one of the longest migrations of any mammal. They travel between 15,000 and 20,000 miles every year from their feeding grounds in the Arctic to and from the warm waters off the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula. At the end of the fall, gray whales begin their journey south where they will spend winter and the beginning of spring to give birth and reproduce in three coastal lagoons in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Scammon’s lagoon, San Ignacio Lagoon and Magdalena Bay offer shelter to pregnant whales, newborn cubs and adults during winter months. These sites have been and still are essential for the recovery and survival of the species.