Inuktitut name - Qilalugat tugaliit

Colour - mottled dark grey, less grey on sides, white belly

Lenght - 3 to 5 metres

Shape - male with long twisted tusk protruding straight forward from snout; dorsal fin absent; female similar in appearance, but usually with no tusk (sometimes there is a short one present)

Behaviour - usually swims in pods; male's tusk is often visible above the water; often remains in deep water bays and channels; diet consists of fish (mainly the Arctic Cod) and squid, as well as benthic fish crabs, and shrimps

Distribution - migrates to northern Davis Strait and southern Baffin Bay in fall (where it remains close to pack ice), returning through Lancaster Sound to areas farther west; very common in Lancaster Sound (some 85% of the North American population may use this area); rare west of Barrow Strait; some found in Hudson Bay and Foxe Basin, migrating to Hudson Strait in fall

Sensitivity - in response to approaching ships a 'freeze' behaviour has been observed; there is no data on narwhal responses to aircraft

Note - The ivory in the male's long protruding tusk is prized for carving. While demand for carved ivory once allowed native communities to bring in much-needed cash income, demand has lessened in the last few decades in response to calls for an end to the hunting of ivory-bearing animals, particularly elephants.

 [Narwhal thumbnail] Narwhal (46 KB)Lancaster Sound Area
Distribution Maps:
Fall Scenario
Spring (Ice Scenario 1)
Spring (Ice Scenario 2)
Spring (Ice Scenario 3)
Summer Scenario
Coronation Gulf Area
Distribution Maps:
This species is not sensitive in this area, therefore no maps are presented.

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