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St. Lawrence Estuary beluga whale

Beluga image


The St. Lawrence beluga population has declined by roughly 1% a year since the early 2000s. Abnormally high mortality rates in newborns and pregnant females adversely affect current and future recruitment to the population. A parallel decline in belugas’ physical condition suggests that some environmental factors are having a negative impact on feeding. Less abundant food sources, elevated levels of contamination, and chronic exposure to underwater noise and ships could be at issue.

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