Science Advisory Report 2013/053
Winter range of Baffin Bay narwhals
- Published tracking studies of narwhals delimited winter home ranges in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait for several summering stocks of narwhals in Canada and Greenland from the Baffin Bay narwhal population.
- One wintering area centers in northern Davis Strait and southern Baffin Bay, an area referred to as the Southern Wintering Area, which in large part is in Canadian waters.
- Narwhals from Admiralty Inlet, Eclipse Sound and Melville Bay summering stocks were tracked to Southern Wintering Area in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- A new study showed that four individuals tracked from Admiralty Inlet also wintered in this same area in 2009-2010, suggesting that use of this area by that stock occurs annually.
- Animals in the Southern Wintering Area forage at depths over 800 m and a large part of their diet is composed of Greenland Halibut. It is estimated that over a five month period the stocks of narwhals occupying the Southern Wintering Area (32,000 narwhals) would require about 86,000 t of Greenland Halibut.
This Science Advisory Report is from the November 22-26, 2010 National Marine Mammal Peer Review Committee Meeting (NMMPRC). Additional publications from this meeting will be posted on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Science Advisory Schedule as they become available.
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