Yesterday, we reported that NOAA is changing its scheduled surveys of Cook Inlet Beluga Whales from every year, to every two years.
It’s a change that NOAA’s Julie Speegle says the federal agency been considering for a number of years and it’s really mostly related to cost concerns.
There are raising costs related to the aerial surveys, she says, so this way they’ll be able to do a more thorough job of the surveys by conducting them every other year.
She says the results from the surveys will be just as effective…
Speegle: “The Cook Inlet Beluga Whale population, is one of the marine mammal populations that we consider to be very important, they’re high priority, and we will continue careful monitoring of them.”
According to NOAA, the population estimates for the Cook Inlet belugas have been as low as 278 whales and as high as 375 over the past decade.