A beluga whale underwater

Beluga whale

Belugas come together in pods of hundreds and even thousands of individuals in the shallow waters of the arctic and sub-arctic seas. For insulation in these cold waters these whales have 10cm thick blubber and half their weight is fat. Beluga whales are very vocal: their chirps, squeaks and clicks are so distinctive they're nicknamed 'sea canaries'.

Scientific name: Delphinapterus leucas

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Sea canary,
  • White whale

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The Beluga whale can be found in a number of locations including: Arctic. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Beluga whale distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Unknown

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Beluga whale

  • Whale birth captured on video After 15 months of pregnancy, Qila the Vancouver Aquarium's 12-year-old beluga whale has given birth to her first calf.

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