Do you have a favourite summer getaway? That special place you go every year when the weather gets warmer? If so, you’re not the only one in the animal kingdom.
Beluga whales have been known to return to the same rivers and estuaries (places were rivers meet oceans) year after year. They visit these special spots to feed, get away from predators like Polar bears and Killer whales and to moult (get rid of dead skin).
Unfortunately, Belugas will keep returning to these areas even when it is unsafe. Since their summer hideaways are so predictable, it’s really easy for hunters to find them. In some areas, hunters have targeted so many belugas that it is believed they may have wiped out entire populations!
Thankfully, there have been limits put in place to make sure Belugas aren’t overhunted. These limits have already started to help protect Beluga whale populations, but they aren’t out of danger yet. Beluga hunting is still a problem in areas of the Hudson Bay. Scientists believe that if hunting levels continue, the Eastern Hudson Bay population could disappear in fewer than 10 to 15 years!