New Extralimital Record of a Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) in Europe

Abstract: On 27 April 2016, a dead narwhal (Monodon monoceros) was found on the bank of the River Scheldt, Belgium. It was the first record of this high Arctic cetacean in Belgium, and one of the most southerly records ever in Europe. Due to the decomposition of the carcass, the results of the autopsy remained inconclusive, but it is likely that the animal had died due to a long process of starvation. In the stomach, a large number of litter items were found which were probably ingested during the process of dying. We further provide information on the sighting of the live animal prior to the stranding and present an overview of the very few known records of narwhal in northwestern Europe.
Key Words: narwhal, Monodon monoceros, stranding, Belgium, historic records
Document Type: Research Article
Page Numbers: 39-50

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