Beluga St. Lawrence Project
Monitoring photo-ID’d individuals is the cornerstone of our research program. Every summer since 1985, we spend hundreds of hours at sea with belugas in order to compile observation records of “known” individuals. We study the relationships between the belugas’ social organization and their habitat use. We aim to determine how this organization influences their exposure to anthropogenic threats in an effort to identify limiting factors to the recovery of their population.
Through a combination of genetic data and observation records of photo-ID’d individuals, we study the fundamental biological characteristics of the beluga population as well as the influence of genetic characteristics on individuals’ health, mortality and reproductive success.
Coordinated by the GREMM, the St. Lawrence Beluga Project is led by a consortium of private and academic laboratories in close collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Maurice Lamontagne Institute and the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park.