Thursday, January 25, 2007

Beluga whales faltering in Alaskan waters

"...A new count by the National Marine Fisheries Service puts the Beluga whale population at 302, less than half the number in 1994 and well below the 1,000 to 2,000 believed to have been swimming in earlier years in the glacier-fed channel that runs from Anchorage to the Gulf of Alaska.

"There's basically a one in four chance that this population is going to become extinct in 100 years," said Bruce Smith, a National Marine Fisheries Service biologist studying the belugas."