Beluga Whales Endangered

Introduction

Beluga Whale | Delphinapterus

Physical description The beluga whale is a white whale that is 13 to 16 feet and averaging around 3,150 lbs which is pretty small compared to most whales. The whale has a very light skin and almost dolphin like features especially in the face.

Habitat and Ecology Most of them are in coastal waters but some do live in deeper waters too. They can be found in both arctic waters or warmer water. The Cook Inlet which is the water between the Gulf of Alaska and Anchorage is a designated habitat for beluga whales. The whales diet consists of octopus, squid, crabs, shrimp, clams, mussels, snails, sandworms, and a variety of fish. They usually live 35-50 years and travel in large groups. They are really social and interact with each other with lots of unique chirps and clicks and they're known as the "canaries of the sea" because of that.

Range Beluga whales could be found throughout the ocean at one point but they are mostly only found in the subarctic regions of Russia, Greenland, and North America.

Population The Cook Inlet is the only endangered population of Beluga whales. There is estimated to be only 325 whales there which is a big drop from the estimate of around 1,300 in the late 1970s.

Interesting things Beluga whales are covered in a thick layer of fat that is 40 percent of their body. They also shed their skin and and use the shallow ocean ground to help rub off the skin. They also have very good hearing, and vision and use echolocation to see in areas with little light.

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Issues

Beluga whales were harvested for their skin to make leather and this is seen as part of the depletion of the whales in the Cook Inlet. Some issues now would be the pollution, shipping, noise, oil and gas production and habitat destruction. The population seems to be improving because there is currently a conservation effort going on to raise the minimum of the Beluga Whales in the Cook Inlet to 780 but is probably going to take to around 2038.

Preservation Plan

This species should be preserved because they are a very unique species. There is no other species like them. They are also very smart and socialize in very advanced and unique ways. Losing them would also cause and increase in populations that are needed because of the loss of a predator. Like I said in the issues there is currently a conservation effort to raise the minimum amount to 780. They are not considered endangered anywhere but the Cook Inlet, but it is still seen as important because if the Inlet goes extinct, the rest of them could follow to. The Alaskan conservation is in agreement with the NOAA fisheries to make it happen. The importance of this species might not seem important to you because it doesn't affect you directly, but think about losing an entirety of a species and it is a species that really provides the world with nothing but a positive impact. We lose Beluga Whales to very avoidable things. What is the purpose of letting a species become wiped off the Earth for something completely avoidable.

Works Cited