Critical Habitat Areas Proposed for Beluga Whales

NOAA has proposed critical habitat areas in Cook Inlet for Beluga Whales which were listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in Oct of 2008.  In the formal review of the Cook Inlet Beluga Whales, NOAA Fisheries Service estimated a 26% chance that these whales will become extinct in the next 100 years.  The area being proposed would designate 3,016 square miles including the upper portions of Cook Inlet, where whales concentrate in the summer months, mid-Cook Inlet, the western shore of lower Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay on the eastern side of the lower inlet.  Comments on the proposed area is being accepted through January 31, 2010. 

More information on the comment period and area being proposed can be viewed on NMFS website at: http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2009/cibelugas1209.htm 

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