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Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

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The isolated population of beluga whales in Cook Inlet Alaska declined substantially for yet unknown reasons in the 1980s and 1990s and was listed as endangered in 2008 under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Dr. Stewart was asked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help identify the habitats of beluga whales in the upper Cook Inlet in autumn 2008 and to begin to quantify the kinds and intensity of behavioral and acoustic interactions with boats one element in understanding why this population has been declining and what might be done to halt the decline and promote stability or increase to healthy, sustainable levels.

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