St. Lawrence Beluga

Studies on the complex organization of beluga social life are used as a basis for developing protective measures and the recovery plan for this species. Research projects on this emblematic animal of the St. Lawrence also provide a means of monitoring the health status of the ecosystems.

"Mom, can you hear me?" (ongoing)

The recent increase in mortality in St. Lawrence beluga newborns and the decline of their population coincide with increased navigation in areas frequented by females and their offspring. The project ...

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Are beluga whales victims of PAHs?

The principal suspects in the development of intestinal cancer in beluga whales are the PAHs produced by aluminum smelters in the Saguenay area. However, scientific proof of this connection has yet to...

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Are living belugas as contaminated as dead belugas?

Everything we know so far about the contamination and health of St.Laurent belugas was obtained from the examination of stranded animals. One might ask whether these carcasses are representative of th...

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Are St-Lawrence belugas contaminated (2015)

The St. Lawrence beluga lives in the heart of a densely populated and highly industrialized region. In the 1970s, scientists revealed that the species was heavily contaminated with heavy metals, PAHs ...

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Are we making too much noise?

Belugas depend to a large extent on their sense of hearing to communicate, to orient themselves and to hunt. Their habitat is becoming more and more noisy, to the point that we often use the term nois...

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Do beluga whales have friends?

Belugas live in groups. Sometimes these groups contain hundreds of individuals, at other times just a few. A greater understanding of the nature and function of these groups is imperative to successfu...

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Do PAHs (toxic contaminants) cause cancer in St. Lawrence beluga whales?

The St. Lawrence beluga whale population is heavily contaminated by various toxic products including heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), PCBs and DDT. This population also has the h...

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How many beluga whales are there?

Counting belugas is not an easy task! That said, in order to closely monitor the situation, it is essential that we keep track of the size and the rate of change of this endangered population. Pod of ...

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How many contaminants are found in belugas?

Several dozen toxic chemicals of man-made origin have been discovered in St. Lawrence belugas tissues since 1982. While many of these contaminants likely have an impact on the beluga’s health, their...

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Is the accumulation of fire-retardant products in beluga whales a cause for concern?

The demand for fire-retardant products (which reduce the flammability of materials) has drastically increased in the past few decades. These products include a number of organobromine compounds such a...

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Is the belugas immune system still intact?

Many chemical pollutants, including organochlorines, can weaken the immune system. As a logical follow-up to the pathologies observed in the necropsy room, scientists hypothesized that toxic chemicals...

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Morbillivirus epidemic : a threat for the St. Lawrence beluga ?

In 1988-1989, after a morbillivirus epidemic, 17 000 seals were found dead on the European coastline. The same strain of virus also killed hundreds of dolphins and porpoises in Europe and along the Ea...

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Potential impacts of shipping lane rerouting on St. Lawrence belugas (2015)

The St. Lawrence Seaway is a gateway to North America. When they arrive in the Estuary, vessels pass through the heart of whale feeding grounds and the summer habitat of belugas. Concern has been rais...

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Traffic in beluga calving grounds (2015)

Added to the merchant ships crisscrossing the St. Lawrence beluga’s summer range are recreational and marine mammal-watching boats. This traffic has a number of observable impacts: risks of coll...

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What are belugas dying from (2015)

Every year, some 15 or so belugas are found stranded on the shores of the St. Lawrence. What are they dying from? Examination of these carcasses speaks volumes about the health of the population and c...

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What do belugas die from?

Each year around 15 belugas are found stranded along the shores of the St. Lawrence. What do they die from? An examination of these carcasses has revealed uncommon health problems in this population. ...

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What do belugas do underwater?

Despite the considerable efforts that have already been deployed to study St. Lawrence belugas, researchers are still in the dark as to what these animals do once they leave the surface. Yet, it is be...

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What do young beluga whales die of?

The analysis of beluga whale carcasses found along the shores of the St. Lawrence between 1983 and 1999 led researchers to establish the chief causes of death of individuals within this population. Th...

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