The population of Humpback Whales in parts of the southern Atlantic Ocean appears to be rebounding, according to a new scientific study.

Whale hunting from the mid-1800s to the mid-1950s drove the humpback whale population in the region from approximately 27,000 to 450, but conservation and anti-whaling efforts appear to have brought the population back to about 93 percent of its “pre-exploitation size,” the report states.

Dr. Alex Zerbini from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service and the report’s lead author told the BBC:

“We didn’t really measure anything until the 1980s and it wasn’t until we did the first proper assessment at the start of the 2000s that we realized just how well they were recovering.”

Check out the full report — published the latest issue of the U.K. Royal Society’s journal “Open Science” — here.

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