E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Eubalaena japonica Lacépède, 1818
North Pacific Right Whale
Family: Balaenidae

Photo of species

© Public Domain  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14930)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Eubalaena japonica in British Columbia
Details about map content are available here.


The North Pacific Right Whale is an endangered social whale species in Canada and, until 2013, hadn't been ovserved in BC waters for 62 years. COSEWIC, in assigning endangered status to the species (rather than extirpated) provides this summary: "Although there have not been sightings of this species in the last 50 years in Canadian waters, there have been sightings both south and north of British Columbia waters. Therefore, it is not appropriate to classify the species as extirpated. The total population in the eastern North Pacific likely numbers a few tens of animals." However, two sightings of this species occurred in BC in 2013, confirming its presence in the province..

Read about an observation of this whale species off the coast of Haida Gwaii on June 9, 2013.

Read about a second sighting of this species in BC waters in 2013 where it was observed with Humback Whales.

Visit Wild Whales (the BC Cetacean Sightings Network) to view a distribution map of this species in the North Pacific.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeSHRedE (May 2015)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2023-09-24 10:17:17 AM]
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