What do Belugas Teach Us about the St. Lawrence and about Ourselves? (4/8)
Beluga stories: this is the fourth 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: the St. Lawrence Beluga Project (research program); contaminants found in the carcasses; when belugas began suffering from cancer.
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.
St. Lawrence Beluga Project: a research program conducted for the past 25 years to understand and identify solutions for the belugas of the St. Lawrence. The demographics of the population is alarming: if the belugas of the St. Lawrence were healthy, they would be twice as numerous as they are today. Aerial population surveys and carcass recovery program.
Listen (2 min 24 s)
Contaminants found in the carcasses: a long list and abnormally high cancer rates in a wild species.
Listen (1 min 22 s)
Period when belugas were falling victim to cancer: a revealing graph explained. Good news and not so good news on cancer rates and contaminants in the St. Lawrence.
Listen (3 min 22 s)
To learn more:
On Whales Online:
- Research projects: St. Lawrence beluga
- Carcass Recovery Network
- About the beluga (data sheet)
- Robert Michaud bio