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WDC provides supportive care to a live-stranded common dolphin. Credit: Andrea Spence/IFAW

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Expands Marine Mammal Stranding Network Territory

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation team expands the Greater Atlantic Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network...
Hysazu Photography | Sara Shimazu

Dam Good News for Southern Resident orcas

Pardon the pun (we've used it before) but we just can't help ourselves.  After decades...
Peter Flood mom and calf

Emergency Petition Seeks to Shield Right Whale Moms, Calves From Vessel Strikes

For Immediate Release, November 1, 2022 WASHINGTON-Conservation groups filed an emergency rulemaking petition with the...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Belugas may have changed eating habits to survive

According to a study by University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers, beluga whales in Alaska’s Cook Inlet may have changed their diet over five decades from saltwater prey to freshwater fish and crustaceans in a bid to survive.

Information gained from the analysis beluga bone and teeth has shown that the belugas formerly fed on prey that had little contact with freshwater, but that has changed as the belugas have sought food in areas where river water flows into the ocean.

Researchers say that the change in feeding habits could even be linked to events, such as a change in herring abundance or even the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake.

Belugas normally feed on fish, crab, shrimp, squid and clams. This new information is important for the Cook Inlet belugas because they are endangered and numbers have not increased in recent times.

The population has dropped from 1,300 belugas through the 1980s and early 1990s. Alaskan Natives hunted and killed nearly half the remaining 650 whales between 1994 and 1998 but, despite the hunts ending in 1999, the population remains at only about 340 individuals.

Find out more about WDC’s sanctuary work for beluga whales and support our work.