Predicting responses of St. Lawrence beluga to environmental change and anthropogenic threats to orient effective management actions: Fs70-5/2017-027E-PDF

“The St. Lawrence Estuary (“SLE”) population of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) was depleted by hunting. The population failed to increase in numbers at the rate one would expect after cessation of hunting. We conducted a population viability analysis (“PVA”) to quantify factors that most likely limit recovery of SLE beluga. The main threats considered were: changes in prey abundance; changes in foraging efficiency caused by underwater noise and disturbance; and chemical pollution, namely polychlorinated biphenyls (“PCBs”). Although all three threats have received scientific and management attention, there is greater evidence available to quantify the relationships between prey and demography than between noise or PCBs, and demography. The primary objective was to use best available science to build a framework to predict how the population might respond to changes in environmental conditions and varying levels of the three main anthropogenic threats. This tool will provide information on the relative importance of each threat (across a range of input values), and identify knowledge gaps needed to be filled in order to improve mitigation and monitoring of effects, and research activities"--Abstract, p. iv.

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Department/Agency Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Ecosystems and Oceans Science.
Title Predicting responses of St. Lawrence beluga to environmental change and anthropogenic threats to orient effective management actions
Series Title Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS), research document,
Publication Type Series - View Master Record
Language [English]
Format Electronic
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Note Cover title. “April 2017.” Title at head of French abstract: Prédiction des réponses du béluga du Saint-Laurent aux changements environnementaux et aux menaces anthropiques afin d’orienter des actions de gestion efficaces.
Date 2017.
Number of Pages v, 44 p. :
Catalogue Number
  • Fs70-5/2017-027E-PDF
Subject Terms Endangered species, Whales, Nature conservation