Beluga whales whistle, chirp, click and squeak—earning the moniker “canaries of the sea.” In the United States, these small, white whales can only be seen in Alaska. Of the five stocks of belugas in U.S. waters, only the Cook Inlet population is endangered.
NOAA Fisheries and partners invite members of the public to participate in conserving the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales at the third annual “Belugas Count!” —being held Saturday, September 21, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., in the greater Anchorage area.
This celebration and citizen count is free and open to the public. No registration is required. People worldwide can join in on the Belugas Count Facebook page, where there will be live broadcasts.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., members of the public are invited to help spot and count Cook Inlet beluga whales at 15 staffed stations throughout Cook Inlet.
From 1 to 5 p.m., there is a free Beluga Festival at the Alaska Zoo in the Gateway Building with booths, family activities, and beluga-themed scientific talks throughout the afternoon. See a real beluga skeleton, escape a marine debris obstacle course, enjoy Alaska animal storytime, or learn how you can be a citizen scientist with the Alaska Beluga Monitoring Partnership.
This all-day citizen science celebration aims to bring together members of the public to focus on the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale, fostering local pride, awareness, and stewardship. It’s a collaboration among a variety of federal and state agencies, local and national organizations, as well as individuals.