Species fact sheet by Global Register of Migratory Species - www.groms.de
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Balaena mysticetus Linnaeus, 1758
Family: Balaenidae
Order: Cetacea
English: Bowhead whale
French: Baleine du Groenland
Spanish: Ballena de Groenlandia
German: Grönlandwal (There's a German version of this page!)
Norwegian: Grønlandshval (There's a Norwegian version of this page!)
Migration: interoceanic
Regions: East Asia, Europe, North America, North Asia

distributionmap of Balaena mysticetus 

“The bowhead whales' movements depend on the ice of the arctic sea. The species is found at the southern edge of pack ice in winter, and moves north as the ice breaks up. Previously their range was more extensive but hunting has reduced it to the remnant populations listed above. The recent Red List differentiates five populations, four of which are threatened (Hilton-Taylor 2000). The current estimates in population numbers listed above are based on Clapham et al. (1999), but the authors note that the relationship - and possible exchange - between the three eastern subpopulations is not clearly understood. Recovery is very slow, as adults may not attain sexual maturity until an age of 15-20 years. However, the species seems to be exceptionally long-lived, as indicated by the recent discovery of a stone harpoon point not in use since 1900, in an animal recently killed by Alaskan Inuit (George et al. 1995).”
From: Riede, K. (2001): Global Register of Migratory Species. Weltregister wandernder Tierarten. Münster (Landwirtschaftsverlag), p. 199, containing more about whales and dolphins (l.c., pp 64-68)

Recommended link(s):

To gather more information about whales in general see the link collection at connotea.org: cetacea
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Feedback: mail to Klaus Riede

(Last update: 26.6.2007 by A. Tappenhölter)