ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A survey finds that the number of beluga whales in Cook Inlet is again declining.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report released Tuesday shows the numbers have slipped again to 321 animals, down from an estimated 375 animals in 2007 and 2008.
The downward trend comes after two years where numbers for the white whales that swim off Anchorage appeared to have stabilized.
Cook Inlet belugas last year received greater protection when they were listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. The action was taken after scientists determined the whales were headed toward extinction.