Why are so many gray whales dying in the Pacific?

Scientists struggle to explain why the gray whale population plummeted by nearly a quarter between 2016 and 2020.

An adult gray whale swims off the coast of Baja California Sur. Each winter, gray whales migrate from their feeding grounds in Alaska to tranquil estuaries along Mexico’s Pacific coast. In recent years, an unexplained die-off has reduced the gray whale population by a quarter. In Baja, whales have been arriving later and appear much skinnier than in the past.

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