2022 Belugas Count!
NOAA Fisheries and Partners Invite the Public to the 4th Annual Cook Inlet Belugas Count! Event
Fourth Annual Belugas Count! set for September 17, 2022
After a 2-year pause, NOAA Fisheries and our partners are excited to announce the return of the Annual Belugas Count! event — Saturday, September 17. This citizen science celebration aims to bring together members of the public to focus on the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale, fostering local pride, awareness, and stewardship. The event is a collaboration among multiple federal and state agencies, local and national organizations, academia, and aquaria, as well as individuals.
This year, we invite the public to join beluga experts from NOAA Fisheries and our partners at outdoor viewing stations throughout Cook Inlet. At these stations you can:
- Help spot and count Cook Inlet beluga whales
- Learn about Cook Inlet beluga life history
- Find out about ongoing efforts to recovery the population and how you can help
- Enjoy fun, family-friendly educational activities
This celebration and citizen count is free and open to the public. No registration is required.
Additional event details, including a map of station locations and viewing station times, will be provided on this website as the event date approaches. To stay up-to-date, follow the Belugas Count Facebook page.
About Cook Inlet beluga whales:
Beluga whales whistle, chirp, click and squeak—earning the moniker “canaries of the sea.” In the United States, these small, white whales can only be seen in Alaska. Of the five populations of belugas in Alaska, the Cook Inlet beluga population is the smallest and the only population that is endangered.
In October 2008, NOAA Fisheries listed Cook Inlet beluga whales as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This species continues a downward population trend. At present, scientists estimate there are only approximately 279 beluga whales in Cook Inlet.
NOAA Fisheries has designated Cook Inlet beluga whales as one of eight “Species in the Spotlight” — species in need of a concerted effort by individuals, agencies, groups, tribes, institutions, and organizations large and small to survive. The goal is to have partners and interested members of the public work together to recover this species. Belugas Count! is an event designed to do that.