News Summary

  • 2019 / 05 / 16

    Do whales suffer from sunburn?

    By Jeanne Picher-Labrie / Questions from the public

    Unlike other mammals, whales do not have hair to protect their skin. Even if they spend little time at the surface, can whales get sunburn? Mechanism of sunburn Sunburn is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. The latter represent about 10% of the light e...

  • 2019 / 05 / 16

    Species at Risk: Fin Whales on the Rebound, Concerns for Sei Whales and Sowerby’s Beaked Whales

    By Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Headline

    On May 6, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) convened in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to assess or reassess the status of three species or populations of whales: sei whales, fin whales and Sowerby’s beaked wha...

  • 2019 / 05 / 10

    Complex Rescue Operation for Whales Captured in Russia

    By Jeanne Picher-Labrie / Issues

    Since November 2018, 87 belugas and 11 killer whales have been illegally held captive in a “whale prison” off Nakhodka in the Russian Far East. The publication of images of the whales confined in pens and surrounded by ice has sparked outrage fro...

  • 2019 / 05 / 09

    Minke Whales Everywhere

    By Marie-Ève Muller / Observation of the week

    From the Gaspé to the Côte-Nord, minke whales have been appearing in the waves in recent days. In the St. Lawrence, the majority of minke whales identified or biopsied are females. In this species, females prefer coastal habitats, while males prefe...

  • 2019 / 05 / 09

    A Play Dedicated to Whale Researcher and Rescuer Jon Lien

    By Marie-Ève Muller / On the calendar

    Between Breaths highlights the unusual life story of Jon Lien (1939-2010), a pioneer of whale research in Canada. It is being staged this month at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre. Originally from South Dakota, Jon Lien moved to Newfoundland in 1968 t...

  • 2019 / 05 / 03

    Are whales’ bones adapted to their diving?

    By Marie-Ève Muller / Questions from the public

    Several species of whales have traits that are well suited to their diving behaviour. For example, the relatively small size of their lungs relative to their body allows them to carry less air when they dive. This helps minimize the buoyancy of the a...

  • Un jeune phoque commun a été harcelé pendant plusieurs jours sur la plage de Cap-aux-Os en Gaspésie l'été dernier, malgré les efforts de sensibilisation. L'animal est mort, probablement parce que les liens avec sa mère avaient été coupés. © Marie-Claude Rancourt, bénévole pour Urgences Mammifères Marins 2019 / 05 / 03

    Young Seals on the Beach: Doing the Right Thing!

    By Marie-Ève Muller / Marine Mammal Emergencies

    Every year, the months of May and June represent the pupping season for harbour seals. During this period, the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network receives numerous calls to report young pups observed alone on the shores of the St. Lawren...

  • 2019 / 05 / 01

    Sanctuary for Retired Belugas: A World First

    By Marie-Ève Muller / Actions / Beluga

    Two belugas currently living in an aquarium in Shanghai, China, are getting ready to fly to Iceland. The two whales will become residents of the world’s first sanctuary for retired whales. The goal is to bring them back to an environment similar to...

  • 2019 / 04 / 30

    Travelling “Down South” … by Albert Michaud

    By Collaboration spéciale / Field notes

    This winter, I had the chance to leave Quebec and go “down South”. Not to the Caribbean or Florida, but much farther afield: Antarctica, one of the last truly wild regions on the planet. I had the opportunity to work as a naturalist on board a cr...

  • 2019 / 04 / 29

    Killer Whale: The Great White’s Greatest Fear

    By Aurélie Lagueux-Beloin / Discoveries

    Imagine for a moment that the formidable shark in Jaws were to meet face to face with the friendly orca from Free Willy. What would happen? A new study conducted by researchers at the Monterey Aquarium in California reveals that great whites are fe...