April 18, 2005

New  Sociable Beluga Whale in Newfoundland

The WSP has been tracking a lone beluga whale since February 25, 2005 with the help of researchers, residents and commercial divers.  Using archived images of the solitary sociable belugas we have studied since 1998, we have compared photos of the beluga spotted in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador, and feel confident that this is a “new” whale.  However, there was at least one beluga that traveled Trinity and Conception Bays last year, that to our knowledge was not photographed. This may be the same individual.

Meet and learn more about “Chance” the first solitary sociable beluga of 2005

Adult  Beluga in Delaware River , New Jersey, USA!

An adult male beluga was observed April 13 about 120 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, up the Delaware River, New Jersey.  This is one of a few rare sightings of belugas in that region including one in Cape May, south of Atlantic City in 1978, and another off New Haven, Connecticut in 1985. An adult female was seen in Massachusetts Bay in May 2002 and of course, “Poco”,  one of the solitary sociable juvenile belugas the WSP was studying, was the most recent beluga to travel the New England coast last year.

The Delaware beluga is believed to be from the St. Lawrence River in Canada and is known to Quebec researchers as “Helis” (pronounced “ay-lee” ) which derives from the French word “helice” meaning “propeller”. Helis sports a very old and prominent propeller wound on his back just in front of the dorsal ridge, which makes him highly identifiable.

The Whale Stewardship Project will continue to follow  events concerning Helis and hope that he soon decides to leave the Delaware River and head northward back to the St. Lawrence.

For more details on Helis we invite you to visit the GREMM website (Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals) the organization that first identified Helis and that leads studies of St. Lawrence beluga whales from their research centre in Tadoussac, Quebec.

Whale Stewardship Project

P.O. Box 36101

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canada   B3J 3S9


Email: wsp@eastlink.ca

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