Climate Change is a Challenge for Narwhals

The Arctic Ocean is filled with amazing creatures that have the ability to survive in the coldest conditions. However, as the climate warms up and the sea ice melts, the Arctic Ocean can be a dangerous place for many arctic species, including narwhals.

A model of a Narwhal. Flickr Credit: post-postmodern

Narwhals are medium sized whales that live in packs of two to ten individuals. They are best known for the massive ivory tusk, which can grow to 150 cm to 267 cm long! They also happen to be one of the most sensitive Arctic marine mammals to climate change.

The dramatic temperature swings caused by climate change not only lead to sea ice loss but also flash freezing. In some cases, a herd of narwhals will come up for air through tunnels in the ice, only to have the tunnels freeze shut behind them. The narwhals become stranded and are at a higher risk of being hunted by humans for their prized tusk.

Getting trapped in the ice isn’t the only issue narwhals face due to climate change. As the ice continues to melt, human presence increases. This means more hunting and development in the narwhal’s habitat, along with more boat activity as shipping and oil exploration increase.

Currently, narwhals are a species of special concern in Canada and near threatened internationally.

Sources:
http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/virtual_sara/files/cosewic/sr_narwhal_e.pdf
http://www.arkive.org/narwhal/monodon-monoceros/
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13704/0

Generously Supported By

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation

A Conservation Partnership With

Churchill Northern Studies Centre

Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that works to inspire and educate children about the environment. At EarthRangers.com kids can play games, discover amazing facts, meet animal ambassadors and fundraise to protect biodiversity.

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60 Comments

  1. Chloeskyshell says:

    earth rangers can we please fundraise for them please reply

    [Reply]

    Earth Rangers Reply:

    Hello Earth Ranger! We’re so happy you’re as excited about saving animals as we are. We’ll definitely keep this in mind when we’re on the hunt for our next Bring Back the Wild project 🙂

    [Reply]

    ANNA6 Reply:

    hi I am a level 6 earth ranger

    [Reply]

    pandaabc2000 Reply:

    Me too!

    [Reply]

  2. sadie000 says:

    im levée 5

    [Reply]

  3. melan123 says:

    WOOOOW!!!!!

    [Reply]

  4. swaggertheoriginal says:

    the are so cool looking

    [Reply]

  5. crazycowlady says:

    I’m a level 3

    [Reply]

    Cortney Reply:

    I am almost level 3!!!!!

    [Reply]

  6. Forbrie says:

    I feel bad for the UNICORN OF THE OCEAN

    [Reply]

  7. SunshineSophia says:

    I’m a level 2 Earth Ranger but I’m almost a level 3 !!!

    [Reply]

  8. nisegirl5 says:

    Hello fellow earth rangers, i think that you are as sad as i am. Narwhals if you didn’t know are endanger. We have do to everything we can! ( To help the narwhal) That is, go on a bike more than a car, if you are driving somewhere with someone else only use one car, there is so much we can do it is just people aren’t doing it!Try and spread the word in your community because i know i will! Lets go earth ranger team! (:

    [Reply]

  9. graydon10 says:

    I do not want to lose the narwhal! 🙁

    [Reply]

    tp489 Reply:

    Why not?

    [Reply]

  10. MoJo39 says:

    i love narwals

    [Reply]


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