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Population decline of narwhals

News reports of a dozen narwhals found dead on the east coast of Greenland. “About 1,000 narwhals are killed per year: 600 in Canada and 400 in Greenland,” according to Wikipedia. Canadian harvests (of narwhals) were steady at this level in the 1970s, dropped to 300–400 per year in the late 1980s and 1990s and have risen again since 1999.

Predator’s decrease and other causes of narwhal decline 

Major predators are polar bears, which typically wait at breathing holes for young narwhals. Orcas group together to overwhelm and surround narwhal pods, killing up to dozens of narwhals in a single attack. To escape predators such as orcas, narwhals may use prolonged submersion to hide under ice floes rather than relying on speed.  Also some additional information “Narwhal tissue may contain high levels of contaminants from the environment.” Narwhals are hunted by native peoples of the Arctic for their flesh, blubber, and tusks.

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The population in the future 

Narwhals are not endangered. They are listed as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List, with numbers estimated at around 123,000 mature individuals. However, they were listed as Near Threatened (NT) from 2008-2017 and still face several threats that could affect their numbers in the future. These include hunting, entrapment, climate change, pollution, human activity, and noise.

Information about narwhals 

Narwhals living in social groups are called pods and they mainly live in the arctic oceans male narwhals are born with  tusks while female narwhals aren’t. Narwhal skin gradually changes from brownish-gray to dark black spots. Also their tusks are exactly 17 ft long, about the length of a crocodile.

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Elijah Ramirez
Eliah Ramirez is a junior at the Urban Assembly for Media. He likes to watch action movies, go to the beach, and hangs out in nature.
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