Spatial Dynamics of Narwhal in a Rapidly Changing Environment

Narwhals are an iconic ice-associated species that are seasonably distributed across much of the Canadian archipelago that are also of immense cultural importance to the Inuit First Nations. While narwhal are highly adapted to their sea-ice environments, their susceptibility to the stresses of a changing climate and increased human activity in the area are a major concern. Using a unique catalogue of narwhal biotelemetry data spanning over three decades, this project aims to undertake the first evaluation of how movement and migration behaviours of narwhal tagged at several locations across the Arctic fluctuates between years and may change with the climate. By evaluating how narwhals respond to different environmental variables, we will be able to reveal drivers of migratory patterns, potential changes in narwhal space use, and how best to protect the species from conflict with increased human activity throughout the region.

Intern: 
Courtney R Shuert
Faculty Supervisor: 
Nigel Hussey;Marie Auger-Méthé
Province: 
Ontario
Partner University: 
Discipline: