However, it’s home to 17 different types of whales that inhabit these waters and three species – beluga, bowhead whales and narwhal – live there year round.
The elusive narwhal, often called the unicorn of the sea because of its distinctive tusk, is one of the most sought after whale species and the only way to see them is in the wild.
The Canadian Arctic is home to an estimated 80,000 narwhal accounting for 75% of the world population and the best time of year to see these magnificent creatures is spring and summer.
In May and June narwhal can be seen at the floe edge of Lancaster Sound, at the northern reaches of Baffin Island, Nunavut, during the annual migration to their summer feeding grounds.
In Canada the narwhal are identified as of “Special concern” by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). This indicates a species that may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.
One of the main threats is the rapid climate change in the Canadian Arctic. With decreases in natural ice cover and thickness this is one of the main reasons the Narwhal are endangered.
The narwhal’s elongated tooth develops into a long spiralled tusk and can grow up to 10Ft. It is most commonly recognized as the left protrusion but occasionally a right tusk develops too, giving some narwhal two tusks!
If your after a trip on the wild side top whale watching trips are offered by:
Narwhal and Polar Bear Safari, departures in May and June (www.arctickingdom.com/trip/narwhal-watching-and-safari.
Ultimate Floe Edge Explorer – departures in June and July – (www.arctickingdom.com/trip/ultimate-floe-edge-explorer