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  • Barbara D'Arrigo

The beluga whale - an animal that needs help

Beluga whales are a type of whale that lives in arctic waters. The beluga whale and the narwhal are the only two members of the monodentae family. They are extremely intelligent, easily trained and they stay calm in stressful situations. They feed on anything from octopuses to sandworms. The average life span of this incredible species is 35-50 years. An adult whale weighs around 1400 kg, which is about half the weight of an elephant, meaning they are rather small compared to other whales. As a comparison, the largest whale, the blue whale, weighs on average 130,000 – 150,000 kg and the Orca 3,000 – 4,000 kg.

Beluga whales are an endangered species, as they are quite fragile animals. They can encounter fishing and merchant vessels which harm them because they are too loud and can also hit them or they can be caught in a fishing vessel. Habitat degradation and pollution are other causes of the species' decline.

The reason beluga whales need to be helped is that they are at the top of the food chain, meaning they have a significant role in keeping the balance of species of fish in the ocean. If the balance of fish is disturbed, it can erode the food chain and harm other species, leading to more imbalance. If they disappear, their prey will overpopulate. The beluga whale population has not changed much in the past 5 years, but we need to make sure it rises, while there are still many other species of whales that need help, we should consider all of them, including the beluga whale.

There are a few simple things we can do to make sure that this wonderful species of whale can thrive and its population grows:

- Use less plastic

- Buy food from local sources (to avoid cargo ships)

- Eat less fish

- Drive only when needed

We must do these few things, so that we can maintain biodiversity.

Sources: Cover image -

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