Recovery Strategies

Recovery Strategy for the Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) St. Lawrence Estuary Population in Canada

The beluga is a small, toothed whale of the Monodontidae family, found in the northern hemisphere and adapted to Arctic and subarctic conditions. The species is characterized by the absence of a dorsal fin, a thick skin and tough dorsal ridge (used to break ice), and a rounded structure, called a melon, on the dorsal surface of the head, which is filled with lipids and facilitates echolocation. Adults are distinguished by their white skin. An adult beluga can weigh up to 1,900 kg and grow to between 2.6 and 4.5 m in length, the female adult attaining only 80% of the male's length, or up to 3.5 m (Vladykov, 1944; Lesage and Kingsley, 1998; COSEWIC, 2004).

2011-10-04 - We modified the legend of Figure 7 to better reflect the status of the projected Marine Protected Area of Manicouagan. The web link to the Best Practices Guide (footnote 12) was deleted because it is no longer valid.

Consultation period: 2011-09-26 to 2011-11-25


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Contact Person(s)

SARA Directorate
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
200 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E6
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Related Species


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