Studying Pacific Walruses as They Cope with Diminishing Arctic Sea Ice
19.08.2011 - Flora & Fauna, Arctic
USGS Alaska Science Center researchers have been attaching satellite radio tags to walruses on the Northwestern Alaska Coast as part of their study into how the species is coping with reduced sea ice conditions.
While walruses spend the majority of their lives at sea, they need to rest on ice floes or on land between bouts of feeding. As sea ice cover has been diminishing further away from the coasts in the Arctic Basin, Pacific walruses have been hauling onto land more and more. The team is tracking the walruses’ feeding habits in late summer and autumn to see how the foraging habits of one of the top predator in the food chain are being affected by retreating sea ice.
It’s possible to see regularly updated tracking animations of tagged walruses online.