Serena

- Jo-Ann Floridia
  • ID number : DL1050
  • Sex : Female
  • Year of birth : Before 1965
  • Know since : 1977
1050_D_BL99-105-07 0
1050_D_BLV011010_0100_0
1050_D_BLV060818_2224_0
1050_G_BL00-004-40 2
1050_G_BLV030620_1010_0
1050_G_BLV050711_1002_0

How to recognize her

Serena can be identified by her prominent and grayish dorsal crest, as well as the small but deep scar on her upper flank around her peduncle. She also shows a gray line on her right side, below the crest.

Life history

The first encounter with Serena dates back to the summer of 1977. She was photographed by St. Lawrence beluga research pioneer Leone Pippard and her team at the mouth of the Saguenay. Belugas fade from gray to white in colour between the ages of 12 and 16. She was already all white at that time, meaning that her birth goes back to at least 1965! Belugas can live to be 60 or even 80 years old.

Her size and associations suggest that Serena is a female. In the belugas’ summer range, females form large communities in which they care for newborns and young. These communities, the formation of which is partially based on matriarchal lineages, are faithful to traditional territories and exchanges between them are uncommon.

Serena belongs to the same Saguenay community as her companions DL0030, DL0246 and Slash (who died in 2013). Associations between females of the same community are not stable, however. They may vary depending on the females’ reproductive status and whether or not they are pregnant or accompanied by a calf.

Serena remains a mystery for our team, as since 1977 we lost track of her during two periods: from 1992 to 1998 and from 2006 to 2012. Perhaps because she is so easily overlooked with her small scar on her upper flank.

How her story unfolds will help us better understand the social and reproductive lives of belugas. By better understanding how belugas live, we will be able to better protect them.

Serena observations history

Latest news

  • SEPTEMBER 19, 2015

    Serena is in a group of about twenty individuals, close to Anse Saint-Étienne (Saint-Étienne cove) in the Saguenay Fjord. Visibility is excellent, despite heavy cloud cover. The herd is composed of adult and young belugas, including four newborns. DL1050 is swimming in the company of two females well known to the field team, Céline and Athéna. They’re heading slowly toward Baie Sainte-Marguerite, which is often the final destination of herds swimming up the Saguenay Fjord. To this day, it is still unknown why belugas are particularly fond of this bay. Once they reach the bay, they sometimes stay there and swim in circles for hours.

    Update : November 30, 2017

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