PROVINCETOWN, MASS. (WPRI) -- Marine researchers on Cape Cod say a beluga whale has been spotted in the waters there.
Beluga whales are an Arctic and sub-Arctic species typically found around the Arctic ice. Normally belugas only travel as far south as the Gulf of St. Lawrence off the coast of Canada, near Nova Scotia.
Researchers at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCSS) tell Eyewitness News that the whale was seen off Provincetown on June 10th, and later was spotted near the Cape Cod Canal. Back in 2004, a beluga named "Poco" was seen near Boston.
According to the PCSS, the sightings of belugas in Massachusetts waters this month and in 2004 coincide with below-average sea ice in the Arctic, indicating to researchers that unusually warm weather has pushed the whales further south than normal. "Unusual movement patterns of Arctic and sub-Arctic species may be one of the consequences of global warming," Dr. Cyncia Tynan stated in a press release. Levels of Arctic sea ice have been steadily declining since the late 1970s, according to the Center.
The Provincetown Center for Costal Studies is a nonprofit organization that has been studying costal and marine ecosystems since 1976.
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