An update of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) abundance and reported deaths in the St. Lawrence River Estuary: Fs70-6/2017-015E-PDF

"The St. Lawrence Estuary (SLE) beluga population is located at the southernmost limit of the species range. It occurs primarily in the SLE and seasonally in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A review of the population status (2007) concluded that the population over the period 1988-2007 was stable. However, in recent years there has been an increase in reported deaths of young-of-the-year and an apparent increase in perinatal mortalities. This increase as well as change in the age/sex structure of the deaths suggests that its status may have changed. A review in 2013 incorporated carcass monitoring and aerial survey data into a population model. The model results indicate that the population was slightly increasing from the 1960s to the early 2000s and has probably declined, to under 1000 animals during the last decade. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) designated the population as ‘endangered’ in 2014, and its status is "threatened" according to the Species at Risk Act. In 2014, new aerial surveys were flown. The Species at Risk directorate requested that these surveys be reviewed and that the number of reported deaths be updated"--Context, p. [1].

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Department/Agency Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Ecosystems and Oceans Science.
Title An update of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) abundance and reported deaths in the St. Lawrence River Estuary
Series Title Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, science advisory report,
Publication Type Series - View Master Record
Language [English]
Other Language Editions [French]
Format Electronic
Electronic Document

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Note Issued also in French under title: Mise à jour de l'abondance du béluga (Delphinapterus leucas) et des morts signalées dans l'estuaire du fleuve Saint-Laurent. Caption title. "April 2017." "This report is available from the: Centre for Science Advice (CSA), Québec Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maurice Lamontagne Institute"--p. 10.
Date 2017.
Number of Pages 10 p. :
Catalogue Number
  • Fs70-6/2017-015E-PDF
Subject Terms Endangered species, Whales, Nature conservation