The following is a near complete list of native marine mammals found in the East Atlantic Arctic. They are classified by order and family, which are genetic groups that highlight a common ancestor. Family describes a closer genetic closeness than order. Species of marine mammals in the East Atlantic Arctic belong either to the order carnivora (such as seals and bears) or cetacea (such as whales and dolphins). Because the list is so long, the page has been separated between both orders. Click on an order to learn more.
- Marine mammals are more sensitive to climate change than land mammals in the Arctic.
- Many Arctic marine mammals are dependent on sea ice to feed and for reproduction, like for example the polar bear, the walrus, and many species of seals. Warming climates limit the area of sea ice, so these animals have less food and have to travel more, leading to decreases in population.
- Distribution and numbers of prey species like fish or plankton are influenced by climate change, leading in changes in the availability of food for marine mammals.
- Many marine mammals are important prey for other marine mammals, like seals for polar bears and orcas for example, so their population stability is important for the predators as well.
- Research which marine mammals are present where you live
- Are they present year-round or just during specific seasons?
- Do they prefer deep waters or are they often seen next to the coast?
- What do they eat?
- How is climate change affecting them in the arctic?
- When you see a wild mammal, note down
- The species
- The number of individuals
- The date
- The time
- The weather
- Is there a lot of wind?
- Is it raining? Snowing?
- What is the temperature?
- How much cloud cover is there in percentage, approximately? (0% = no clouds, 100% = sky is entirely covered)
- The location using an app on your phone
- Any comments, like if you could tell the sex, if it was young, injured, etc...
- "Orca 12/20/14" by Mike Charest is licensed under CC BY 2.0
- "Grey Seal - Grijze zeehond (Halichoerus grypus)" by Martha de Jong-Lantink is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
- Reid, D. G., Berteaux, D., & Laidre, K. L. (2013). Mammals. In Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (pp. 78–141). https://www.caff.is/assessment-series/arctic-biodiversity-assessment/208-arctic-biodiversity-assessment-2013-chapter-3-mammals