Alex Smith co-authors article on Hudson Bay beluga whales

9 August 2017

The article, recently published in PLOS ONE, focuses on the beluga whale’s summer habitat associations in the Nelson River estuary.

beluga whale

beluga whale

Senior Consultant Alex Smith and his team set out to learn more about the influence of environmental variation on how and why beluga whales use estuaries. During the months of July and August, from 2002 to 2005, they studied the ecology of Hudson Bay beluga whales, while considering downstream effects of hydroelectric dams and possible implications of climate change on beluga migration timing. During the “wet” year (high precipitation, high discharge from the upstream dam) of 2005, belugas ranged farther from the Nelson River mouth compared to the three previous drier years. The authors theorize that one possible explanation for this behavior is that the beluga preferred to concentrate near freshwater and saltwater mixing areas.

Click here for the full article. Contact Alex Smith for more information.

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