Scientists investigate massive walrus haul-out in Alaska ‎

14 Sep

Scientists fear declining Arctic sea ice may have caused an unprecedented mass migration to dry land

Walrus high on the barrier beaches near Pointt Lay, Alaska, 2010. Photograph: USGS

Scientists in the Arctic are reporting a rare mass migration of thousands of walrus from the ice floes to dry land along Alaska‘s coast.

Researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS), who have been tracking walrus movements using satellite radio tags, say 10,000 to 20,000 of the animals, mainly mothers and calves, are now congregating in tightly packed herds on the Alaskan side of the Chukchi Sea, in the first such exodus of its kind.

“It’s something that we have never seen before in this area,” said Geoff York, of the WWF’s global Arctic programme. “As the ice decreases, the walrus are abandoning it earlier and earlier. They are having to swim ashore, or to linger on less suitable drift ice for long periods of time.”

The flight of the walrus, first reported by the Alaska Dispatch, has reinforced warnings from scientists that the lumbering animal may be headed for extinction because of climate change.

read whola article Guardian.co.uk

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: