Fall Movements of Belugas (<i>Delphinapterus leucas</i>) with Satellite-linked Transmitters in Lancaster Sound, Jones Sound, and Northern Baffin Bay

  • P.R. Richard
  • M.P. Heide-Jørgensen
  • D. St. Aubin
Keywords: beluga, Delphinapterus leucas, High Arctic, North Water, satellite telemetry, swimming speed, fall migration

Abstract

Six adult belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, (2 males, 4 females) were instrumented with satellite-linked transmitters in Croker Bay, southeastern Devon Island in the Canadian High Arctic in mid-September 1995. Some days, the animals remained close to shore along the southeastern and eastern shoreline of Devon Island, presumably foraging for arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) and other prey. They spent the rest of the time in the deep waters of Lady Ann Strait, eastern Jones Sound, and the waters southeast of Coburg Island, presumably feeding on deepwater prey. Only males went farther north in water off southeastern Ellesmere Island, the belugas' swimming speeds decreased in the later part of the study period. Their last transmissions came from the North Water, an area where belugas are known to winter. Results of this study were not sufficient to determine the extent of movement of belugas between the eastern Canadian Arctic and Greenland.

Published
1998-01-01