walrus Move Along Nothing to See here: Sea Ice Is Gone: Walruses Making way to Shore

walrus

There was a story which was written in the Arizona Daily Star which says “Tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska because the sea ice they normally rest on has melted. Federal scientists say this massive move to shore by walruses is unusual in the United States”. The “federal scientists” which the story mentions are supposed to be from the USGS, the U.S. Geological Survey. Since when have they been right about anything?

If you ask the FWS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this coming of the walruses is not so far out there, and definitely not unusual.

That walrus of the Pacific makes its home in the shallow waters of the continental shelf of the Chukchi and Bering seas. The actual distribution of the population Pacific walruses actually varies greatly season to season. Almost all of the population makes its home in the pack ice in the Bering sea during the cold winter months. During the winter, they most often stake their claim in two areas, one to the southwest of St. Lawrence Island, and in outer Bristol Bay.

Now, as the Bering Sea pack ice begins to melt down in April, the walruses of course move further north and their population becomes less dense. Some of these walruses inevitably make their way to the shores, perhaps to take in the renowned local hospitality, and this has been the pattern for a long time, and will continue to be in the coming years.