Speak up for Alaska's Beleaguered Beluga

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Alaska’s Cook Inlet beluga whales are in serious trouble. Facing pressures ranging from pollution to increased ship traffic, their numbers have dropped by half in the last decade. Now, this isolated population of white whales may disappear forever.

But there is hope. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is now considering listing the Cook Inlet belugas as endangered under the Endangered Species Act -- perhaps the best chance yet for these special creatures.

Help protect the Cook Inlet belugas before it’s too late! Urge NMFS to list the Cook Inlet belugas as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The deadline for submitting your comments is next Tuesday, May 30.

The beluga whale relies on its sophisticated sonar, using clicks and squeaks to hunt, navigate and communicate. Their unique and varied sounds have earned these extremely social animals the nickname “sea canaries”.

Cook Inlet belugas rear their young and feed just offshore from one of the most populated -- and fastest growing -- regions in Alaska. It's an area that's getting more and more inhospitable to the whales.

Sewage and polluted run-off pour directly into the beluga’s home. Planned development projects threaten to fill in over 135 acres of beluga whale habitat. The toxic waste and spills from region’s oil industry can poison and kill these creatures and their young. Seismic blasting to search for oil can disrupt their sonar and disorient the belugas, causing them to drown.

An endangered listing would require protection not only for the critters themselves, but for the fragile habitat essential for their survival.

Beluga whales need your help. Please send your comments to NMFS before next Tuesday’s deadline.

Just last month, international experts classified this group of whales as “critically endangered” -- the most urgent category for imperiled wildlife. NMFS’s own scientists have charted the dramatic decline of these whales -- and their best estimate is that fewer than 280 remain. Without the protection of the Endangered Species Act, the Cook Inlet beluga whales could become extinct within our lifetime.

Now is the time to act. Please help these animals get the protection they deserve. Write to NMFS today and urge them to protect Cook Inlet belugas by listing them as an endangered species-- before they are gone forever.

With your help, we can ensure that these magnificent white whales live on for generations to come.

Thank you for all you do to protect imperiled creatures everywhere.

Sincerely,

Jim Curland
Marine Program Associate
Defenders of Wildlife

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