Satellite maps of tagged Alaskan Beluga stocks in the Wintering Areas
The maps below include tags reporting from three different tagging efforts: Eastern Chukchi stock, Eastern Bering stock and the Bristol Bay stock. It is interesting to see how the three stocks partition themselves over the winter. Keep in mind that these are not the only stocks wintering in the Bering Sea. There are also beluga whales in the Gulf of Anadyr, and the eastern Beaufort Sea stock (also known as the Mackenzie stock) winters somewhere in the Bering Sea. We have no tags for these stocks at this time.
Lots of folks have helped to collect this data, including the North Slope Borough, the Alaska Beluga Whale Committee, the Bristol Bay Native Association, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, and many subsistence hunters. Thank you all, and especially thanks to John Citta of ADFG for producing these maps.
Satellite tag locations as of 29 July 2013 (disregard the dates in the first sentence on the map above). NS12-1, the beluga tagged on 29 September 2012, is transmitting normally and is currently located north of Kotlik, along the edge of the sediment plume that comes out of the Yukon River. NS12-2 last transmitted on 12 July and is represented by a yellow dot on the attached map.
Again, thanks to the Alaska Beluga Whale Committee, North Slope Borough, National Marine Mammal Lab, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for sharing data and collaborating.