Final Week with the Belugas

Autumn has now been in full swing in Tadoussac for a few weeks and, as much as the days can sometimes be the best of the season, they can also be challenging. This week, we were not spared by the strong winds. We still managed to make a few trips out onto the river and find animals where the conditions were a little calmer, but unfortunately it never lasted long. Following a herd of belugas amidst a sea of whitecaps is no easy task, just like staying on one’s feet on the roof of the Bleuvet to photo-ID these animals in two-metre high waves! The encounters were therefore often brief.

The more benign conditions of the Saguenay, however, enabled us to prolong our working days a bit, but there were few animals in the Fjord this week. We were in for a pleasant surprise: we crossed paths with Cumulus – the last observation of whom dates back to October 2, 2013 – accompanied by five other males coming out of Baie Sainte-Marguerite and heading down the Saguenay.

Click on the map to navigate with the Bleuvet and discover the highlights of the week!

IDENTIFICATIONS OF THE WEEK

Blanchon– adopted in 2016 by Yolande Simard Perrault;
Cumulus – adopted in 1990 by students of the Cégep de Saint-Félicien;
Miss Frontenac – adopted in 2008 by Fairmont Le Château Frontenac;
Dorothy – adopted in 2016 by Mathijs and Anneke Wittink and Adelaide Gomer;

as well as DL1551, DL2450 and DL0237.

The complete list of identified belugas requires meticulous efforts to match individuals, which will be undertaken once the field season has come to a close.

BLV120820_1123Property of the GREMM and the St. Lawrence National Institute of Ecotoxicology, the Bleuvet is a research boat dedicated to the research program on St. Lawrence belugas. Managed by GREMM scientific director Robert Michaud, the Bleuvet crew is composed of Michel Moisan, Tim Perrero and Simon Moisan.

Field Notes - 3/11/2016

Équipe du GREMM

Led by scientific director Robert Michaud, the research team of the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM) studies St. Lawrence beluga whales and large rorquals (humpback, blue and fin whales) at sea. The Bleuvet and the BpJAM leave the port of Tadoussac every morning to gather valuable information on the life of the whales of the St. Lawrence Estuary.

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