AUGUST 1, 2016
01 / 08 / 2016
The summer of 2016 – our 32nd season at sea with the belugas – was once again rich in encounters and surprises. Amongst other observations, we spotted Athéna at least eight times! This is good news, as she had not been identified the previous year!
April 1, 2016: we’re back in the Saguenay Fjord to continue the research project on communication between mothers and their newborns. At the end of the day, after a few hours of following the herd, we meet back up with the animals in Baie Sainte-Marguerite. Amongst the fifty or so individuals present is Bélibec. She is swimming in the company of Athéna in a herd comprising adults, young, and three newborns. The low winds and favourable weather allow us to use our drone. Such ideal conditions are rare and we’re thrilled when all the stars are aligned to allow us to collect high quality data! Indeed, this new technology allows us to obtain highly accurate estimates of group compositions and the age of the juveniles. The drone flies over the herd and focuses on the newborns. We observe several “bleuvets”, young individuals about one year old whose skin is grayish-blue in colour. Simultaneously, we “spy” on animals under water with our hydrophone to capture calls exchanged between mothers and young. Perhaps we recorded the Bélibec’s voice that day…
Update : November 24, 2017