Ray Gilmore, Gray Whale Activist


Beginning in the 1950s, San Diego Natural History Museum biologist Ray Gilmore documented shrinking numbers of Gray Whales (Eschrichtius robustus), or Ballena gris in Spanish. Recognizing that these majestic creatures needed help, he began raising awareness by taking people out on boats to observe whales.  

Many of these whale watchers returned inspired: they refused to support commercial whaling, stopped buying whale-based products, and pressed for protective laws. Gray Whales made a comeback, and in 1994 were removed from the federal endangered species list.

Today, you can join the Museum Whalers on your own whale-watching adventure!

PHOTO CREDIT: Research Library, SDNHM

PHOTO CREDIT: Phillip Colla Photography