Federal authorities are taking most humpback whales off the endangered species list.
The National Marine Fisheries Service said Monday that nine of the 14 distinct populations of humpbacks have recovered enough in the last 40 years to warrant being removed from the endangered list.
The agency says four distinct populations remain listed as endangered and one as threatened.
The National Marine Fisheries Service last year proposed removing most of the world’s humpback whales from the endangered species list. It said populations of the animals have steadily grown since the international community banned commercial whaling nearly 50 years ago.