Species Profile

Northern Bottlenose Whale Davis Strait-Baffin Bay-Labrador Sea population

Scientific Name: Hyperoodon ampullatus
Other/Previous Names: Northern Bottlenose Whale,Northern Bottlenose Whale (Davis Strait population)
Taxonomy Group: Mammals
Range: Atlantic Ocean
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2011
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.

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Image of Northern Bottlenose Whale


Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.



PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

5 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Northern Bottlenose Whale in Canada (2011)

    The status of the northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus), a beaked whale (family Ziphiidae) of the North Atlantic, was assessed for COSEWIC by Reeves et al. (1993), and no listing was given. A subsequent report on the population that uses the waters of the Gully, a submarine canyon off the Scotian Shelf, led to this population being placed in the Special Concern category in 1996 (Whitehead et al. 1997a). Since these reports, substantial new information has been published on the Gully population, and industrial development in the area has accelerated rapidly, potentially threatening the population. Consequently, the listing of this population needs reassessment.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment - Northern Bottlenose Whale (2002)

    The Northern Bottlenose Whale was given a single designation of Not at Risk in April 1993. Split into two populations in April 1996 to allow a separate designation of the Northern Bottlenose Whale (Scotian Shelf population). Scotian Shelf population designated Special Concern in April 1996. Status re-examined and uplisted to Endangered in November 2002. Last assessment was based on an existing status report with an addendum.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Northern Bottlenose Whale, Davis Strait-Baffin Bay-Labrador Sea population (2011)

    The population is of Special Concern for the following reasons: (1) numbers were likely reduced by whaling in the late 1960s and early 1970s when 818 whales were taken; (2) trends in population size since then are uncertain but survey sighting rates have been low; and (3) threats from fishery interactions are documented and ongoing. There is no abundance estimate. Entanglement in fishing gear is the primary known threat but noise and contaminants are also of concern. The whales in the Baffin Bay-Davis Strait-Labrador Sea region have been genetically linked to the population off Iceland so rescue is possible.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.

Consultation Documents