DL0988

- W. Maxwell Agendas
  • ID number : DL0988
  • Sex : Unknown
  • Year of birth : Before 1990
  • Know since : 1994
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Its distinctive traits

DL0988 is easily recognizable thanks to the scar on its left flank, on the front part of its dorsal crest. This individual is even more distinct from the right side, with a series of scars visible in front of its crest.

Life history

We first encountered DL0988 in 1994, at which time it was gray. Beginning in 2004, it was always noted as “white”. Belugas fade in colour from gray to white between the ages of 12 and 16. DL0988 would therefore have been born before 1990.

DL0988 is easily recognizable thanks to a deep scar on the front part of its dorsal crest. Nevertheless, we lost track of this individual between 1994 and 1999 and from 2000 to 2004.

At the current time, data on its associations and the sectors it frequents are insufficient to determine its sex with certainty. In summer, adult belugas exhibit a high degree of sexual segregation. Bulls and cows demonstrate clear preferences, as much in their social associations as in the sectors they patronize. This behaviour is not quite as pronounced in juveniles and young adults. To date, DL0988 has been observed in all sectors of the species’ summer range and in several herd types. Over the next few years, its social affiliations and movement patterns should reveal more about its identity.

The stories of young belugas and the chance to monitor the evolution of their behaviour are our best tools for understanding the social lives of this species. By better understanding how belugas live, we will be able to better protect them.

DL0988 observations history

Latest news

  • AUGUST 30, 2016

    We take advantage of the gorgeous weather to visit the downstream sector, where we regularly come into contact with herds of males. We cross paths with DL0988 off Îles aux Basques. He’s in a herd of some sixty individuals, including adults and a few gray individuals. The herd is split into about ten groups of six at fifteen belugas. We also recognize males JP, Douxi and DL0370.

    The animals are scattered and highly active. Some belugas poke their heads above the surface as if to spy on us, others are spitting out water. They’re swimming dynamically and in one distinct direction when they suddenly stop, dive and resurface several times at the same spot. They’re probably feeding. The encounter with DL0988 is also very rich in terms of acoustics. We hear all kinds of vocalizations: door squeaks, whistles and much more. Belugas are aptly nicknamed “canaries of the sea”.

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