Subject: Beluga natural history

Dagmar Fertl (Dagmar_Fertl@mms.gov)
Mon, 28 Dec 1998 10:51:28 -0500

     Subject: progect
     Author:  ABELSF99@aol.com at ~smtp
     Date:    12/26/98 2:45 AM
     
     
     Hi, I'm doing a research paper about the white whale (beluga) and I 
     need some information about it (geographical distribution, habitat & 
     ecological, reproduction, growth, natural enemies, diet & feeding 
     habits).  Can you please send me that information.
     
     Thank you. 
     
     ______________________________ Reply Separator 
     _________________________________
     
     
     Hi, and thanks for waiting for the answer to your beluga question.  
     Probably the best book for you to start with would be Tony Martin's 
     book on Belugas (white whales) published by Voyageur Press.  It is 
     available thru Amazon.com, as well as good bookstores, and is a nice 
     recently published and accurate book.  Another useful book is the 
     Sierra Club Handbook of Whales and Dolphins by S. Leatherwood and R.R. 
     Reeves (1982).
     
     Belugas are found only in high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.  
     They are widely distributed throughout the arctic and subarctic 
     regions, mostly in shallow coastal waters.  Most adult belugas are 
     less than 5.5 m (males) or 4.1m (females), and large animals may weigh 
     up to 1,600 kg.  Calves average about 1.6 m at birth.  Belugas feed on 
     various species of fish, a wide vareity of mollusks and benthic 
     invertebrates - belugas are thought to feed mostly on or near the 
     bottom.  
     
     As far as the other general questions you ask, I wouldn't want to take 
     all the excitement out of finding many of the answers yourself, since 
     this is a research paper you're working on.  I would suggest besides 
     looking at the above listed books (which do answer all of your 
     questions) that you also go back thru the WhaleNet website itself and 
     look under the bibliography page as well as species pages.
     
     Good luck!
     Dagmar