The Canadian Arctic is warming at three times the rate of the rest of the world, and that puts ice-dependent species like the narwhal at risk of decline. A narwhal’s entire life is connected to sea ice, both as a place to feed and a place to take refuge. The slow swimming whales rely on sea ice as a place to hide from predators like killer whales.
Shipping and underwater noise
Narwhals have been known to move away from their calving and feeding areas when large ships move in. Since whales depend on sound to communicate, any interference by noise pollution can negatively affect their ability to find food and mates, navigate, avoid predators and take care of their young.
Oil and gas development
Vessels that support oil and gas development mean increased shipping in sensitive areas. Increased shipping means more underwater noise, more pollution and a greater risk of oil and fuel spills.