Act Now To Save Narwhals Facing Extinction

Photo by © Eric Baccega/

Narwhals Are Real, And In Real Danger

One of the first questions that comes up when searching for “narwhals” is “are narwhals real?”. The answer is yes, narwhals are very real, but one of the ocean’s most unique creatures are also facing very real threats to their existence.

A member of the beluga whale family, narwhals are best known for their single long tusk protruding from their nose, earning them the fun nickname the “unicorn of the sea”. These mysterious Arctic creatures are some of the deepest ocean explorers of the marine mammals, and they can dive up to 2,600 feet and remain underwater for 25 minutes. We must make certain that narwhals are protected, that their tusks do not join the tusks of other animals in the illegal wildlife trade, and that we are monitoring the impact of diminishing ice pack on their habitats, breeding and hunting grounds.

  • Status

    Near Threatened

  • Population


  • Weight

    1,800- 3,500 pounds

  • Length

    11-18 feet

  • Habitats

    Deep Arctic Oceans

  • Poaching

    Hunted for meat and tusk ivory

Narwhal's Face Uncertainty

Narwhal populations are hovering around 75,000 which means they are considered Near Threatened by the IUCN, and without appropriate protection could continue to decline. Their populations are threatened by hunting, climate change and industrial activity, and narwhals are actively hunted in Canada and Greenland to this day. Scientists fear climate change could have an impact on narwhal habitats, but the effects thus far are uncertain. Due to their narrow geographic distribution and very specialized feeding and habitat choice, shifts in ice pack could significantly impact narwhal population health. According to the IUCN, it is unclear whether the ban on trade in narwhal ivory between Greenland and Denmark is even enforced.

Photo by © Bryan & Cherry Alexander/ (left), © Doc White/ (right)

Photo by © Doc White/ (left), © Eric Baccega/ (right)

States where we're fighting to protect Narwhals

  • KITV: Governor Ige signs ivory sales ban into law

    June 30, 2016


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