Narwhal: The Unicorn Of The Ocean

1273 words - 6 pages

The Narwhal is a whale and is also known as the unicorn of the sea. It is in the family of bottlenose dolphins, orcas, and Belugas (World Wildlife Fund). The scientific name for the Narwhal is Monodon monoceros and it is Greek meaning one-tooth, one-horn. It can grow up to 13-16 feet in length and weighs almost 2 tons (4,000 pounds). The region they are usually located is around the Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. They are known as unicorns of the sea because they have a tusk, one of their teeth, coming out of the front of the skull. According to the World Wildlife fund (2014), “Males most commonly have tusks, and some may even have two. The tusk, which can grow as long as 10 feet, is actually an enlarged tooth.” The female does not usually grow tusks. The tusks are ivory, and that is one major reason why Narwhals are hunted since ivory is worth a lot of money.
Narwhals are not endangered, but they are nearly threatened. During the spring, summer, and fall Narwhals are hunted the most. Narwhals are also considered as the animal most threatened by climate change (Felsinger, 2008). With Narwhals being sea creatures, it would give them greater risks for becoming endangered and threatened. Narwhals are also threatened by the industries on the waters, like the oil, gas productions, and commercial fishing. By means of hunters, weather changes, other sea creatures, and even being close to populated areas, Narwhals face greater chances of being harmed or killed.
The cause of the problem
With hunters, weather changes, other sea creatures, and even being close to populated areas, Narwhals face greater chances of being harmed or killed. There are other factors like contaminants in the waters or the commercial fishing of Turbot, the source of food for Narwhals. According to the Save the Whales organization (2014), “Hunters hunt Narwhals for their ivory, skin, and meat.” Killer whales and polar bears also prey on Narwhals. As Seth Borenstein (2008) stated, “Stanford University biologist Terry Root… reinforces her concern that the Narwhal ‘is going to be one of the first to go extinct’ from global warming despite their population size.”
With the climate getting warmer it means the ice is melting at rates the Narwhals can’t adjust to. It also means that big chunks of ice will break off and create walls on top of the ocean waters. With the ice melting, the NarDewhal habitat has to change, but I don’t believe that they can adjust to such critical circumstances because their living environments are all about deep waters and ice. Although ice is not primarily what Narwhals live under, they need to coldness to live in the area. There was an incident in Canada that caused the Narwhal population to decrease substantially. Jaymi Heimbuch (2008) says that, “In a heartbreaking move, the Canadian government decided it would rather allow 500 Narwhals to be shot one by one at an air hole in the ice, rather than bring in icebreakers to help free...

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