Also known as the beluga whale and the white whale, the beluga is a whale species found in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters. Its closest living relative is the narwhal, and both animals are the only living members of the family Monodontidae.
History: As of 2008, the beluga whale was classified as near threatened on the IUCN red list. Although their population trend is unknown, they are harvested at an unsustainable rate for their meat and oil. More specifically, the over fishing of already depleted populations dramatically hinders the beluga whale global population’s ability to stabilize and rebound.
Scientific Name: Delphinapterus leucas
Characteristics: Beluga whales are gregarious, and often live in large groups.
Size and Color: Beluga whales are unique in their physical appearance because they are completely white.