Investigation of the nervous and immune systems in the beluga

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: contaminants, biology, wildlife, beluga whale, marine mammals, tissue sampling, whale

Principal Investigator: Romano, Tracy (1)
Licence Number: 12470
Organization: University of Rochester
Licensed Year(s): 1993
Issued: Jan 01, 1993
Project Team: R. Tarpley, J. Housel, B. Solky

Objective(s): To collect the brain and lymphoid organs from harvested beluga in order to better understand the nervous and immune systems; to investigate how contaminants affect the health of this species; to investigate the possible link between disabled nervous systems and the incidence of beaching or stranding in this and other species of whales.

Project Description: This research will examine the nervous (i.e., brain) and immune systems of beluga by collecting these tissues from harvested animals for laboratory analyses. This study will help to determine how contaminants affect the health of belugas. In addition, the data collected may lead to a better understanding of why whales strand themselves on the shoreline as it has been suggested that beached whales may have damaged nervous systems.