Don’t miss the migration of thousands of belugas broadcast live

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They’re not the largest cetaceans in the sea, but there are still plenty of reasons to love belugas. Aquatic mammals are known for their playful nature, pale coloring, and impressive vocal abilities. Now fans of these whales can live stream their annual migration from the Arctic Ocean to Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada.

As Thrillist reports, Polar Bears International the beluga cameras have gone live Explore.org Friday, July 15 to coincide with Arctic Sea Ice Day. The organization’s research vessel Delphi was fitted with two live cameras: one on deck filming the surface of the water and a lower camera recording the action underwater. Belugas use dozens of distinct calls for communication and echolocation, and a hydrophone on the ship will pick up their vocalizations.

The Hudson Bay has plenty of food that belugas like to eat without too many of their larger predators, like killer whales, lingering. It’s inaccessible in winter, but when the waters thaw in the summer months, around 57,000 whales swim up Manitoba’s Churchill River, which empties into the bay. Polar Bears International has streamed the trip in years past, but this year’s footage is shot using brand new and improved equipment. You can watch live video below as the whales continue their migration for the rest of the season.

Arctic conservation nonprofit Polar Bears International launched the livestream on Arctic Sea Ice Day to raise awareness about melting polar ice due to climate change. Although belugas are considered a species of “least concern” under the IUCN Red List, the survival of other Arctic animals that rely on sea ice is uncertain. In addition to entertaining nature lovers, the images captured on board Delphi will be used to monitor the health of the migrant population.

[h/t Thrillist]

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