Polar Biology

, Volume 31, Issue 11, pp 1295–1306 | Cite as

Movements of narwhals (Monodon monoceros) from Admiralty Inlet monitored by satellite telemetry

  • Rune DietzEmail author
  • Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen
  • Pierre Richard
  • Jack Orr
  • Kristin Laidre
  • Hans Christian Schmidt
Original Paper


Twenty-one narwhals tagged in 2003 and 2004 in Admiralty Inlet showed a different summer distributional pattern than previous narwhal-tracking studies from Somerset Island, Eclipse Sound and Melville Bay. The migration of the narwhals tracked from Admiralty Inlet moved out through Lancaster Sound 15 days earlier (P < 0.0001) than the narwhals summering around Eclipse Sound, whereas the Admiralty Inlet narwhals reached the mouths of Eclipse Sound 18 days later (P < 0.0001) than the Eclipse Sound summering population. The winter range of the Admiralty Inlet narwhals overlapped with the winter range of narwhals from Melville Bay and Eclipse Sound in central southern Baffin Bay and Northern Davis Strait, but not with the winter range of narwhals from Somerset Island that wintered further north. Distribution size of range, and population size did not appear to be related. An example of considerable year to year variation between area of summer and winter distribution in the 2 years was believed to be related to the sample size and number of pods of whales tagged, rather than to differences in sex or age classes.


Narwhal Telemetry Admiralty Inlet Baffin Bay Davis Strait Migration 



This study was funded by the Danish National Environmental Research Institute, the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, the Nunavut Wildlife Research Trust Fund and the Danish Cooperation for the Environment in the Arctic (DANCEA). We wish to thank hunters from Arctic Bay for their participation in the live-capture of these narwhals. In addition, Mehdi Baktiari, Sandy Black, Greg O’Corry Crowe, Henrik Egede Lassen, Moe Keenainak, Martin Nweeia, Jim Orr, Ari Shapiro and Keith Yip participated in the capture and handling of the narwhals in 2003 and 2004. The Polar Continental Shelf Project provided important logistic support to the field camp during our stay in Admiralty Inlet. Software developed by David C. Douglas (Marine and Freshwater Ecology Branch, USGS Alaska Science Center, Alaska, USA) was used for filtering locations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rune Dietz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen
    • 2
  • Pierre Richard
    • 3
  • Jack Orr
    • 3
  • Kristin Laidre
    • 2
  • Hans Christian Schmidt
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.National Environmental Research InstituteUniversity of AarhusRoskildeDenmark
  2. 2.Greenland Institute of Natural ResourcesNuukGreenland
  3. 3.Department of Fisheries and OceansFreshwater InstituteWinnipegCanada

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