Cook Inlet Beluga Strandings 1987-2012: Description and Retrospective Analysis of Level A Data
Report to the Kenai Peninsula Borough
The factors limiting the recovery of the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale are not well understood, although stranding events have been identified as a significant threat. Descriptive statistics and a retrospective analysis was conducted of basic Level A data (date, location, gender, age class) gathered from stranding events during 1987-2012.
Recommended actions include further exploration of the abnormal years for strandings outlined in this report, standardization of age classes, finishing gender determination of suitable samples, increased public education to report strandings, modeling of drift, immersion and decomposition rates to better approximate location and date of death, and an estimation of carcass recovery rate to better understand CIB mortality rates.