Status report on Cook Inlet belugas (Delphinapterus leucas)
Discussion of the Cook Inlet beluga whale stock's distribution, population size, food habits, reproduction, subsistence harvest, and recommendations for monitoring their status.
In June 1991 aerial surveys were flown to determine the population size of the Cook Inlet stock of beluga whales. Strip and nearshore transects which paralleled the general outline of the shore were flown.
Because the Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) population in Cook Inlet, Alaska appears to be a small geographically isolated population of the species, human-induced perturbations could have a dramatic effect on the stock. The summer concentrations of this stock are exposed to the largest industrialized coastal area and the largest human population in Alaska. This report will discuss the stock's distribution, population size, food habits, reproduction, subsistence harvest, and recommendations for monitoring the status of the Cook Inlet beluga whales.