TORONTO -- Scientists have identified a new baleen whale species living in the Gulf of Mexico, and it is already considered endangered.

Named “Rice’s whale,” the species can reach up to 42 feet in length and lives in the warm waters of the Gulf all year round, according to a study.

The whale was previously known as a “Bryde’s whale” but the study explains that due to morphological differences in the skull and differing genetic data, scientists realized it is a completely new species.

They are also critically endangered, as the study suggests there may be fewer than 100 Rice’s whales alive in the wild.

Rice’s whales will have protected status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Rice’s whales can weigh up to 60,000 pounds (or 30 tons) and like similar baleen whale species, have three lateral ridges along their jawbones.

NOAA says the biggest threat to the new whale species are “vessel strikes, ocean noise, energy exploration, development and production, oil spills and responses, entanglement in fishing gear and ocean debris.”