Save the Date: 2019 Belugas Count!
NOAA Fisheries and partners invite the public to the 3rd Annual Belugas Count!
Third Annual Belugas Count! set for September 21, 2019
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 stocks of belugas in U.S. waters, only the Cook Inlet population is endangered.
NOAA Fisheries and partners invite members of the public to participate in conserving the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales at the third annual “Belugas Count!” —being held Saturday, September 21, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., in the greater Anchorage area.
This celebration and citizen count is free and open to the public. No registration is required. People worldwide can join in on the Belugas Count Facebook page, where there will be live broadcasts.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., members of the public are invited to help spot and count Cook Inlet beluga whales at numerous of staffed stations through Cook Inlet.
From 1 to 5 p.m., people can attend a free Beluga Festival at the Alaska Zoo, which will be held in the Gateway Building near the zoo entrance. There will be live presentations, booths, family activities, and more. There will also be beluga-themed scientific talks throughout the afternoon.
This all-day 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. It’s a collaboration among a variety of federal and state agencies, local and national organizations, as well as individuals.
In October 2008, NOAA Fisheries listed Cook Inlet beluga whales as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This species continues a downward population trend. Scientists estimate there are between 300-400 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.
Check back here for updates as we get closer to this event.