From NYTimes.com: Whale Protection Is Bolstered as Palin Objects
On Friday, Ms. Palin said the state had had “serious concerns about the low population of belugas in Cook Inlet for many years,” but she called the listing “premature.” Her administration challenged the federal government’s data, as it did with the polar bear decision.
The commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Denby S. Lloyd, said state data showed “an increase of more than 30 percent in the population, from 278 to 375,” since 2004. (The National Marine Fisheries Service said estimates had been as low as 278 in 2005.)
“In spite of protections already in place, Cook Inlet beluga whales are not recovering,” James W. Balsiger, the acting assistant administrator for the fisheries agency, said in a written statement. The whales are in danger of extinction, Dr. Balsiger said.
So, Palin thinks that 375 of a population is ok. When does she think listing wouldn’t be “premature”? I bet Palin thinks you only need two Beluga whales to have a safe population, a male and a female.