The presence of baleen whales in their West Greenlandic feeding ground is affected by the sea ice. Decreasing sea ice cover, together with growing whale populations, is likely to result in an increasing top-down regulation of the ecosystem by baleen whale apex predators.
The composition and quantity of prey consumed by baleen whales is poorly known. Therefore, prey preferences will be investigated by analysis of tissue samples and in situ trawls. The food intake will be quantified by using digital tags. Furthermore, the seasonality and distribution of whales will be monitored with passive acoustics and correlated to the sea ice.
Listen to bowhead whale song. Recorded in Davis Strædet in 2007 by Dr. Kate M Stafford, Washington University and Malene Simon, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. Sponsored by National Science Foundation OPP.