ENV100 - Assignment # 1.docx
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ENV100 –Assignment #1
The high number of deaths occurring among the St. Lawrence Beluga whales is due to heavy noise
surrounding the estuary. The area around the St. Lawrence Estuary is likely to have unnatural sounds
arriving from human causes.
The Campaign Whale is a non-profit organization devoted to protecting whales along with other marine
animals. According to the campaign, whales suffer from noise created by human activity. Beluga whales
including various other underwater creatures depend on sound underwater; they use it for communication,
social bonding, foraging, feeding and navigation (Campaign Whale, 2012). Beluga whale is an example
of an open system. The specie is able to receive inputs of matter and energy and produce outputs of them
also. Human generated sounds which occur nearby the St. Lawrence estuary or even in the body of water,
poses as a barrier to beluga whales. As a result they are unable to efficiently communicate and possibly
pursue food. Maritime traffic creating underwater sounds from ships is a potential source as to where the
sound is arriving from. There is a chance of other possible causes that create a noise filled environment
for the beluga whales.
In order to determine whether the beluga whales in the St. Lawrence Estuary are indeed threatened by
excessive noise disruptions, there needs to be extensive observation in place. Firstly, what needs to be
taken into consideration is the amount of human activity actually causing the most significant amount of
noise. By detecting the cause of sounds that affect the living of beluga whales the most, only then can
then initiative can be taken to prevent it. Subsequently, the movement of beluga’s underwater also need to
be monitored. If in fact the loud noises are negatively affecting the whales, they would be moving further
away from areas of noises. On a more physical level testing inner ears of deceased belugas to find signs
of trauma or loss of hearing, is another way to find out whether they are threatened by noise. The
approach I have taken focuses on non biological factors as the only threat to the beluga population and
rather on unnatural grounds that may be overlooked.
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