The Saint Lawrence beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) represents the southern-most population of
beluga, and appears to be isolated from the other populations that exist in the Arctic. Belugas were heavily hunted in this area, and now there are approximately 1,000 individuals remaining. Despite protection and conservation initiatives, this population is not showing significant signs of recovery. Similar to the right whale project, in our lab we are using genetic analyses to gain a better understanding of the reproductive biology and social structure of these whales, as well as to assess the potential for genetic factors to be influencing their recovery potential.