What do Belugas Teach Us about the St. Lawrence and about Ourselves? (5/8)

  • 12 / 10 / 2015 Par Christine Gilliet – Mots et Marées - / / / / /

    Beluga stories: this is the fifth episode of the transcript of the training lecture given by Robert Michaud at the CIMM on June 22, 2015. In this text and audio episode: distribution of males, females and young; reproduction; beluga places of residence in the Estuary; population decline; Cacouna oil terminal project.

    On June 22, Robert Michaud, scientific director and co-founder of the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM), gave a training lecture at the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre (CIMM) in Tadoussac. The biologist and St. Lawrence beluga specialist shared stories about these whales and raised questions about the current decline in the St. Lawrence population.

    Whales Online brings you excerpts of this presentation, in the form of a sort of written and audio series to be followed all summer and fall. In the final episode (8/8) of News from Near and Afar, Robert Michaud will answer additional questions. What about you, do you have any questions regarding belugas? We urge you to ask them in the “Questions from the Public” section of the website or on the Whales Online Facebook page.

     

    Where are the females and young found? And the males? The proportion of females available for reproduction. How males go about reproducing.
    Listen (in French) (4 min 58 s)

    Photos: © GREMM

     

    Transmitters used to track belugas. Preparing maps of beluga places of residence to develop conservation strategies. Defining critical habitat.
    Listen (in French) (2 min 39 s)

    Photo: © GREMM

    TransCanada’s Cacouna oil port project shelved due to years of scientific data and designation of the St. Lawrence beluga population as “endangered”. Population declining since the early 2000s. Newborn mortalities worrisome in 2012. A certain type of mortality in females at the time of calving. Four hypotheses to attempt to explain the causes of these mortalities.

    Listen (in French) (5 min 25 s)
    Listen (in French) (7 min 29 s)

    PHOTO-5

    PHOTO-6

     

    Do we need to save the belugas? And why? What if we’re successful?
    Listen (in French) (0 min 58 s)

     

    To learn more:

    On Whales Online:

    St. Lawrence Belugas Declining
    Projet de port pétrolier à Cacouna: un danger pour les bélugas (presently in French only)
    L’habitat essentiel du béluga du Saint-Laurent est à protéger d’urgence (presently in French only)
    About the beluga (data sheet)
    Robert Michaud bio

    Previous episodes of the training lecture:

    Episode 1
    Episode 2
    Episode 3
    Episode 4