A veterinarian from the zoo in the Far North for a beluga's study

Scientists and community members from the Inuvialuit Settlement Region worked together this summer to tag beluga whales in the Mackenzie Delta, NWT, to learn more about the Beaufort Sea beluga whale population. Telemetry data is being used to better understand how these charismatic whales use and navigate through their ecosystem. In the first year of this 2-year project, a total of 14 belugas were equipped with satellite tags that can gather a lot of information such as precise locations and oceanographic data. This information will be used to assist in an aerial survey plan for a population census scheduled next year, the first since 1992! Above all, the project supports a continuous monitoring of the health of this arctic ecosystem and will support its protection in a changing climate where anthropogenic activities such as shipping and development are expected to increase.

Release of a male beluga (4.7 m long!) following the transmitter placement

This project is supported by the department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the regional co-management boards (Inuvialuit Game Council, Fisheries Joint Management Committee) and the local communities. Émilie L. Couture, a veterinarian here at the zoo and collaborator of the Canadian wildlife health center was amongst the experts completing the scientific team of the project. Her role was to supervise the animal health portion of the project, including the health assessment of the captured whales and measuring the physiologic impact of the capture and tag apposition process. She was assisted with this task by Benjamin Lamglait, a resident in zoological medicine from the Université de Montréal that took the relay for the second portion of the field work.

An overlook of the arctic research camp in the Mackenzie Delta

This collaboration is an excellent example of teamwork, including the combination of science and indigenous traditional knowledge for the good of conservation. This teamwork continues, as the information gathered with the tagged whales is being regularly shared through community members on social media. You can also access these updates on the tagged whales and other interesting information by joining the group ‘Beaufort Sea Beluga’.

Testimonials

I had an amazing time here with my family! My kids absolutely loved it. Amazing experience :)

Mario Sevo

We had an excellent time! We have not been in over 10 years and are so glad we went! The park is clean. The food was well priced for a theme park. We loved the Dinozoo! We have terrible French speaking abilities but appreciated your courteous and friendly staff, we felt welcome!

Bonnie Diane

Amazing place to take the family! Lots of animals to see, amazing water park and fun rides. Great packages available with hotels close by for out of town visitors. Highly recommend!

Paul Winch

Amazing place. Perfect for the whole family. They constantly improve their environments and animals collection.

Boris Kosov

We love going to the zoo. (…) Most of the animals were out and the grandkids were thrilled. I'd never been to the Dinozoo before and I thought it was pretty cool especially with the movement and sounds. The design is great in that it's seperated and all goes back to the center.

Stephen Eyton-Jones

Our family absolutely enjoyed our day! There was so much to do! Park was very clean and staff was very friendly and helpful with any questions!!! We plan on going next year and making it a weekend trip so that we can enjoy the whole park!

Crystal Wilson

First time visiting here on our annual summer week in Québec. We went for the 2 day family pass, and had an amazing time. The 2 days allowed us to take our time around the park, and gave plenty of time as well for cooling off at the Amazoo. We'll definitely come back!

JR Bélanger

Our whole family attended yesterday. It was absolutely spectacular. We had a fantastic time! Thanks for the memories!

Samantha Hope

A good place for family outing with zoo, water park and rides all at one place. All the attractions are conveniently placed very close to each other. Food court is good too and you can also bring in your lunch.

Anand Bharadwaj Aryasomayajula

What a great time. Would definitely go again. The zoo care takers are amazing at what they do and so friendly. I would recommend if you have never gone it's a bucket list. Oh and don't forget to go and pet the sting rays.

Jamie Krichtoff

It's the 3rd year in a row that my family and I visit this Zoo. Even though it was during the busiest day they had this year, we were able to visit everything and fully enjoy the experience. Don't forget to bring your bathing suit cause they have an amazing wave pool!

Éric Trudel