Endangered: Beluga Whale or White Whale
Beluga whales are one of the most fascinating creatures on the
planet and their playful nature is one of their most enduring
qualities about them. The Belugas are a testament to the fact
that what we do in our lives has a direct effect on an animal
even way up in the Artic. One of the belugas main threats is
environmental pollution and what we do in our lives has a direct
correlation to the survival of the belugas.
If humans would be more mindful and think about more than themselves
we can make the beluga population rise.
Size: Adult beluga males (3.65 to 4.25 metres and 450 to 1000
kilograms) are larger than females (3.05 to 3.65 metres and
250 to 700 kilograms). Newborn calves measure about 1.5
weigh 50-80 kilograms at birth
Numbers: It is roughly estimated that between 72,000 and 144,000
belugas live in Canadian waters
Behavior: Belugas whales search for food on the seabed at depths
of up to 1,000 feet. They congregate and travel in groups
from 2-3 to as many as several hundred. Some are migratory
their limited range while others remain residents of a
Belugas are very social animals and very vocal communicators
that employ a diversified language of clicks, whistles, and
clangs. Belugas can also mimic a variety of other sounds
live together in small groups known as pods.
Habitat and Range: Belugas are found in arctic and subarctic waters
along the northern coasts of Canada, Alaska, Russia, Norway and
Greenland. These animals are distributed in the western Arctic
(Beaufort Sea), high Arctic (Lancaster Sound, Baffin Bay), eastern
Arctic (Cumberland Sound and southeast Baffin, Hudson Bay, James
Bay and Ungava Bay) and in the St. Lawrence Estuary
Food: Feed mainly on fish, including salmon, eulachon, tomcod,
smelt, char, rainbow sole, whitefish, saffron cod and arctic cod,
herring, shrimp, mussels octopus and cephalopods (squid and octopus).
Lifespan: 35+ years
Threats: Unregulated hunting has been in the main cause of their
decline. Despite stringent hunting controls the beluga whale population
has not rebounded as expected.
Because belugas congregate in river estuaries, human caused pollution
is proving to be another significant danger to their health. Other
threats include disease, contaminants, shipping vessel traffic,
noise (including seismic testing), prey declines, predators (such
as the killer whale) and human-induced habitat changes.
Other factors that have threatened the beluga include dredging,
shipping, industrial activity and environmental pollution have
also resulted in a decline in habitat quality and contamination
of food supply.
Frequent collisions with boats and exposure to significantly higher
numbers of oil spills resulting from high levels of traffic also
affect the beluga through commercial and recreational traffic.
Adopt a Beluga
We invite you to join the Aquarium family by becoming an Aquadopt
parent. Aquadopt parents are key in supporting the Aquarium's ongoing
conservation and education efforts.
Link for live beluga whale cam