VEGAN DAILY FRIEND: Beluga Whale
The beluga or white whale is an Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean. This marine mammal is commonly referred to simply as the beluga or sea canary due to its high-pitched twitter. It is up to 16 feet in length and an unmistakable all-white color with a distinctive protuberance on the head. Belugas are highly sociable. When pods aggregate in estuaries, they may number in the thousands. This can represent a significant proportion of the entire population and is when they are most vulnerable to hunting. Radio tracking has shown that belugas can start out in a pod and within a few days be hundreds of miles away from that pod.
Principal Threat: Because the belugas congregate in river estuaries, their health and habitat is threatened by human-caused pollution and development. Planned development projects threaten beluga whale habitats, which are also at risk from the discharge of municipal sewage into inlets. The Alaska region’s oil industry introduces the added dangers of spills and leaks, toxic waste and harmful noise pollution.