N.S. whales placed on endangered list.

3rd Dec 2002 Story: www.canada.com

The friendly Northern Bottlenose whale has been upgraded to endangered because of the noisy world it lives in.

Some 130 of the beaked whales live in an Atlantic canyon off the Nova Scotia coast. While their habitat is off-limits to oil and gas exploration, it is surrounded by areas where the oil industry is active.

A panel of experts is worried that the sounds of seismic exploration could affect their sensitive hearing.

The upgrading of the scarce whale from threatened to endangered was one of several new designations by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Eleven species of animal and plants were newly listed as "at risk," half of which are from B.C.

The Speckled Dace, the Benthic Enos Lake and the Limnetic Enos Lake sticklebacks, the Oregon forest snail, the Stream-bank lupine, all from B.C., have been listed as endangered. So too have the Marginated Streamside and the Silver Hair mosses.

The Puget Oregonian snail was declared extirpated, one step below extinct.

canderson@pacpress.southam.ca