With the Belugas: Week of August 10, 2015
YOGI SWIMS UP THE SAGUENAY ALONE
This week, fog is prevalent. Our observations had to be cut short. Nevertheless, we managed to conduct three censuses and spent 12 hours with belugas. Here is one noteworthy story for the week.
Throughout the week, we observed Yogi twice, on August 13 and 14, swimming alone up the Saguenay along the cliffs. Yogi is a highly fertile female first observed in 1986. Unlike the majority of the females that we know, Yogi tends to avoid groups. This year the trend is even more pronounced, she is quite emaciated and spends a great deal of time on the surface! Belugas are far from being solitary animals. They live in pairs and groups of 3 to several dozen individuals or clans, governed according to sex- or age-based segregation. In summer, females even form large communities in which they care for newborns and young. These communities are associated with traditional territories.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE WEEK
Pascolio – adopted in 1990 by Tadoussac business owners
Yogi – adopted in 1988 by Bell Canada DL9031
The complete list of identified belugas requires meticulous efforts to match individuals, which will be undertaken after the field season.
Property 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.