Acoustic Monitoring for the Presence of Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska
Monitoring Cook Inlet beluga whales and anthropogenic activities including coastal development, oil and gas explorations, shipping, and military activities.
Cook Inlet beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) are listed as an endangered sub-population. They are being impacted by a variety of anthropogenic activities including coastal development, oil and gas explorations, shipping, and military activities. Their population has declined from an estimated 635 animals in 1995 to 375 in 2007. As a result, there is an urgent need for data that will help regulatory agencies such as NOAA Fisheries and Alaska's Department of Fish and Game implement effective management and recovery plans. Among the principal types of information needed are quantifiable measures of seasonal presence in the Inlet, temporal and spatial patterns of habitat preference, and the occurrence of animals in areas impacted or considered for industrial development.
Marc O. Lammers and Whitlow W.L. Au.