Beluga Whales in Alaska
Information about Beaufort Sea, Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet, Eastern Bering Sea, and Eastern Chukchi Sea beluga whale stocks.
Management and Recoveryof Cook Inlet Beluga Whales
- Conference, April 5th, Anchorage NEW!
- Endangered Species Act
Researchon the five Alaska Beluga Stocks
Development and Potential Impacts
About Beluga Whales
Beluga whales in the Beaufort Sea. Photo: NOAA Fisheries, NMML
At birth, beluga whales are dark blue-gray in color, measure 3-5 feet long, and weigh 90-130 lbs. The color gradually lightens, usually turning white by age 5 or 6. Beluga whales grow to an average length of 15 ft. and can weigh more than 3,000 lbs. Generally, males are larger in size than females. Belugas are robust-bodied and have a blubber layer which can be as much as 5 inches thick. They are muscular creatures with a small rounded head, a short beak, and are quite mobile in comparison to other whales. The belugas have a narrow ridge that runs down the rear of their backs, which allows them to swim freely under floating ice. Also, the beluga is the only whale that can bend its neck. This helps them to maneuver easily and catch prey, using their 34 to 40 teeth, not for chewing, but for grabbing and tearing their prey, which is then swallowed whole. Belugas use sound to find their prey. They also use sound to communicate and navigate by producing a variety of clicks, chirps and whistles. More >>>
Marine mammal strandings, co-management, Cook Inlet beluga whales
Cook Inlet beluga whales, marine mammal strandings