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Beluga whales are polygynous, a dominant male often mating with several females during one mating season. Published in Marine Fisheries Review 77(1). Their necks are extremely flexible and they can turn their heads almost 90 degrees sideways. They also eat invertebrates such as crabs, clams, shrimps, worms, octopus, squid, and more creatures that live on the seabed. Belugas are called "canaries of the sea," due to the vast range of sounds they produce, including whistles, squeals, moos, clicks and chirps. Sometimes in the summer they are found at river mouths. On an average day, the Beluga Whale eats around 50 … According to the IUCN Red List, the total size of the beluga whale population is above 150,000 animals. The Beluga Whale is a meat-eater, which means it is a carnivore. 2. The type of food that these marine mammals eat varies based on their location, migration patterns, and the season. A Beluga Whale has a diet of mostly fish, squid, crab and shrimp.They also eat clams and worms.Sometimes, if they are lucky, they'll get a lobster! In Alaska, information on beluga whale diet is limited to one published paper by Seaman et al. The diet of the Beaufort Sea beluga whale population is not well known partly due to the inherent difficulty of observing feeding behaviour in Arctic marine cetaceans. Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. Beluga Whale on The IUCN Red List site -,, It is gray when born, this color fading gradually with age. This is for the benefit of the calf, which has less blubber than a full-grown adult. There are estimates for this species’ populations in specific regions: In Alaska: Cook Inlet – 375 whales; Bristol Bay – 1,642- 2,133 whales; Eastern Bering Sea - 18,142 whales; Eastern Chukchi Sea - 3,710 whales; Eastern Beaufort Sea/Beaufort Sea (shared between Alaska and Canada) - 39,258 animals. (1982) describ-ing stomach contents from 119 beluga whales from six locations in the Ber-ing and Chukchi seas but none from Cook Inlet. At least five stocks of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), are found in Alaska waters: Beaufort Sea, eastern Chukchi Sea, eastern Bering Sea, Bristol Bay, and Cook Inlet. The Beluga Whale uses its echolocate to hunt for food. Facts about Beluga Whale Diet. The two northernmost stocks (Beaufort Sea and eastern Chukchi Sea) are highly migratory; the two southernmost stocks (Bristol Bay and Cook Inlet) are nonmigratory. Although the eastern Chukchi Sea stock ate more saffron cod, Eleginus gracilis (7% FO) than Arctic cod (3% FO), shrimp (73% FO) and echiurids (27% FO) were more prevalent than fish. Russia: Eastern and Central Russian Arctic - 18,000–20,000 whales; Western Russian Arctic - 1,000 whales. in Canada (Doan and Douglas, 1953; Sergeant, 1973; Vladyk ov 6), Rus- sia (Kleinenberg et al., 1964; T omlin, 1967), and Svalbard and northwestern . Besides vocal communication they also communicate by means of rubbing or bumping against each other, chasing each other and playing games. January 01, 2015. Last updated by Alaska Regional Office Invertebrates were common in the diet of all Alaska beluga stocks and shrimp (mostly from the family Crangonidae) were the most prevalent. They also eat mussels and octopuses.Beluga Whales are carnivores. Etudes sur les mam-miferes aquatiques. Beluga populations in Alaska are thought to be stable or increasing, except for the Cook Inlet stock which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The eastern Bering Sea stock had the most diverse diet, and dominant fish species included saffron cod (95% FO), rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax (62% FO), several species of sculpin (Family Cottidae) and flatfish (Family Pleuronectidae), both at 48% FO, and Arctic cod at 43%. The nursery pod stays together during the delivery, then all of them move off except for a teenage nursemaid. They are opportunistic, and will feed on whatever fish are available to them at the time. Dominant invertebrates included shrimp (86% FO), with polychaetes, isopods, bivalves, amphipods, and echiurids ranging from 29 to 38% FO. luga whale diet has been described . At this time, females with babies will often group together, while males gather in large bachelor groups. Most populations of these whales migrate north in spring, then south in autumn once ice begins to form. Females are sexually mature in 4 to 7 years, and males in 7 to 9 years. Beluga Whales are known to be picky eaters. Frost, and Barbara A. Mahoney. The calf has a grayish color and is very well developed. They rub their bodies on the gravel of the sea bed to shed their yellow, withered skin from the previous year and to again become gleaming white. A calf totally depends on its mother’s milk for one year, and lactation lasts as long as 1.5 to 2 years. In terms of food sources the beluga whale is known to live on a diet of fish, crustaceans, krill, squid, octopus, crabs, sand worms and other small prey.In order to maintain their energy these whales may consume on average between 2 % – 3 % of their body weight on a daily basis or 40 lbs. Diet was highly variable among stocks. on 03/06/2019, Stay informed of all the latest regional news around NOAA Fisheries, Diet of Beluga Whales in Alaska from Stomach Contents, March to November, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, Report a Stranded or Injured Marine Animal. In Bristol Bay, smelt were also eaten more often (43% FO) than cod (3% FO), while in Cook Inlet cod were eaten more often (39% FO) than smelt (11% FO). Resources Diet of Beluga Whales in Alaska from Stomach Contents, March to November. It is small in size and lacks a dorsal fin. Beluga, White whale, Sea Canary, Melonhead. The word "beluga" is from the Russian "bielo" meaning "white". Understanding the diet of this population is of high priority to contaminant research, conservation management and the local Inuvialuit communities who lead subsistent lifestyles. Beluga whale diet has been described in Canada (Doan and Douglas, 1953; Sergeant, 1973; Vladykov (6)), Russia (Kleinenberg et al., 1964; Tomlin, 1967), and Svalbard and northwestern Europe (Lono and Oynes, 1961). Pacific salmon, Oncorhynchus spp., predominated over cod in Bristol Bay (81% FO) and Cook Inlet (67% FO) beluga stocks, and invertebrates appeared to be less prevalent prey. An examination into Alaska beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) stomachs and diet … During summer, thousands of them gather together in river estuaries to moult. Birthing usually takes place near rivers because the temperature of the water is ten degrees higher there. Beluga are toothed whales, with flexible lips that can produce a range of facial expressions. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. At this time, females with babies will often group together, while males gather in large bachelor groups. Gestation lasts 14 months and a single calf is produced. During winter it may become necessary to form breathing holes amongst the ice, which they do with their heavy heads. They also eats … They tend to mate between late February and early April. Further threats are contamination of river estuaries, infectious diseases and disturbance by vessel transport, gas and oil production.

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