Narwhals to be tracked via satellite
Conservationists concerned animals will travel to areas with heavy resource exploration
Scientists will use satellites to monitor a pod of narwhals in Nunavut moving toward its wintering ground.
Earlier tracking programs show the animals move into south Baffin Bay this time of year.
That has conservationists concerned because of resource exploration going on in the area.
"Those are the same areas that the oil and gas industry are applying to do extensive seismic explorations and test oil drilling," said Pete Ewins, Arctic species conservation specialist with the Canadian branch of the World Wildlife Fund.
"It’s already happening on the Greenland side of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, and that’s now coming over to the Canadian side."
Ewins says changes in ocean acoustics from seismic drilling and the risk of oil spills should be considered in permitting applications.
Nine whales have been equipped with satellite tracking devices. They can be followed online here.
The narwhal monitoring project is a partnership between federal and Nunavut agencies, local hunting groups and WWF Canada.