A group of environmentalists have petitioned the federal government to put West Coast Great White Sharks as an endangered species. From an L.A. Times article:
The northeastern Pacific Ocean population of great whites is genetically distinct and in danger of extinction, according to the petition. Researchers have estimated that there are about 340 individuals in the group that are mature or nearly so.
“There could be fewer than 100 breeding females left,” said Geoff Shester, the California program director of Oceana, an international group focused on protecting the world’s oceans.
Wow, just a few hundred of these guys out there. Even though the ocean is a huge place, that small number would probably still inspire enormous fear in people, despite the extreme rarity of shark attacks.