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Occurrence of narwhals (Monodon monoceros) and white whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in East Greenland
Dietz, R.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.-P.; Born, E.W.; Glahder, C.M. (1994). Occurrence of narwhals (Monodon monoceros) and white whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in East Greenland. Meddelelser om Grønland, Bioscience 39: 69-86
In: Meddelelser om Grønland. Bioscience. Museum Tusculanum Press: Copenhagen. ISSN 0106-1054, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Beluga Rafinesque, 1815 [WoRMS]; Delphinapterus leucas (Pallas, 1776) [WoRMS]; Monodon monoceros Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Narwhal, Monodon monoceros, white whale, beluga, Delphinapterus leucas, distribution, migrations, food, gestation period, catch, East Greenland

Authors  Top 
  • Dietz, R., more
  • Heide-Jørgensen, M.-P.
  • Born, E.W.
  • Glahder, C.M.

    Narwhals (Monodon monoceros ) have been observed along the east coast of Greenland from Umiiviip Kangertiva (64°10' N, 41° W) to Kilen (81° N, l3° W). The fjord complexes of Sermilik, Kangerlussuaq and Scoresby Sund are important inshore summering areas. Narwhals occur in these fjords from ice breakup in May-July until new ice forms in September-November. Narwhals also occur at the entrances to these fjords during winter. Historical information from whalers indicates that narwhals are present in the pack ice of the Greenland Sea between May and September. Narwhals are believed to be widely scattered in the pack ice between eastern Greenland and Svalbard during winter, and the narwhals in this area may comprise a single population. During the period I 981 to 1990 the catch of narwhals in eastern Greenland has averaged at least about 80 animals per year. White whales ( Delphinapterus leucas) are rare and only occasionally caught in eastern Greenland. The general absence of white whales in this area is probably due to a combination of severe ice conditions along the East Greenland coast and a general lack of suitable shallow-water habitat.

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