A carcass of a beluga whale stranded in the Haute-Gaspésie

Une carcasse de béluga échouée en Haute-Gaspésie

Une carcasse de béluga échouée en Haute-Gaspésie

Ropes have been installed around the carcass of the beluga whale found in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts in order to be able to pull in the truck that transported in the direction of Saint-Hyacinthe for necropsy.

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22 June 2020 20: 13

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A carcass of a beluga whale stranded in the Haute-Gaspésie

Une carcasse de béluga échouée en Haute-Gaspésie

Une carcasse de béluga échouée en Haute-Gaspésie

Johanne Fournier

Special Collaboration

A carcass of a beluga whale was spotted by citizens, so that she was floating not far from the shore at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Haute-Gaspésie. It is a seventh carcass of this marine mammal to be reported from the beginning of the season.

According to the spokesperson of the quebec Network of marine mammal emergency response, Marie-Eve Muller, he is an adult male, whose exact age is not yet known. It measures 4 and a half meters.

The carcass has been transported to the faculty of veterinary medicine of the Université de Montréal in Saint-Hyacinthe for complete necropsy to find out the cause and the circumstances of his death. As he did not show signs of putrefaction, the animal was probably not long died.

Not a red flag

Although it is the seventh carcass of a beluga whale from the beginning of the season, Ms. Muller believes that there is not anything to worry about for the moment. “[…] There was no red flag raised, in the sense that one cannot say if this is normal or not. It is too early to draw conclusions. We expect to have the entire season done before you have a real portrait because you can find several in a row and do not regain any for the rest of the season.”

15 to 20 belugas dead stranded annually on the banks of the estuary of the St. Lawrence. The population continues to decline by 1% per year. The herd is currently estimated to be approximately 900 individuals.

Endangered

In 2015, 14 carcasses were washed up on the shores of the St. Lawrence river. Six of them were considered to be new-born, of which four were confirmed by the scientists. Three other carcasses were those of dead females layer showing signs of foaling recent or complications. The a has also been defined as being hermaphrodite.

It is in 2012 that the mortality rates are disproportionately high beluga newly born have sounded the alarm. In the year that followed, scientists who are interested in this mammal have stepped up efforts to analyse how more accurate the data obtained in the course of thirty years. This is what allowed them to confirm that the beluga population has been in decline since 2000. The mortality rates of recent years could exacerbate this trend. In December 2014, the Committee on the status of endangered wildlife in Canada has declared the beluga whales of the Saint Lawrence river as endangered.

Le Soleil

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