Join Beluga Bits a citizen science project to identify wild beluga whales from underwater photos.

Zooniverse

Who: Beluga Bits (via Zooniverse) – Conservation and Research for Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

What: Examine underwater photos of wild beluga whales and help identify the age, sex, and group size, as well as identifying marks to recognise belugas that return to this location year after year.

About: Every year, 50 thousand beluga whales descend upon the Hudson Bay area. They congregate in the 3 major river estuaries after spending the winter in the icy waters of the Arctic.

The reason for this journey is not clear. The estuaries may provide a safe refuge from killer whales, or they may provide warmer water to help moult their skin. One thing that is known is that in the Churchill River Estuary beluga whales are close enough to peek into their underwater world take photos, and ask questions about beluga social structure and their natural history.

How you can help

During the beluga season visitors capture hundreds of photos of belugas. Help is needed to classify and analysis each photo looking for general information such as sex and age, as well as distinguishing marks (scars or pigments) to identify individual whales.

Visit Beluga Bits for more information and to join.

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