18 Aug '17, 1pm

What is a walrus haulout and what does it mean for the planet?

Walrus spend most of their time on sea ice. They migrate with moving ice floes and need ice for rest between dives for food. But when summer sea ice shrinks, walrus are forced to swim to land for refuge. As thousands of walrus come ashore, they congregate in large groups known as “haulouts.” These mass gatherings are dangerous and even deadly for the animals. Nearby food sources may be quickly exhausted. As walrus are easily spooked—by humans, vehicles or even small animals—they can trample one another in a stampede to the sea. Tragically, many walruses, particularly young calves, will die in the stampede. Shrinking sea ice This month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that walruses have been spotted in early August near the village of Point Lay, Alaska on the Chukchi Sea. This marks the earliest known haulout for the walruses and signifies the ever-growing impa...

Full article: https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/what-is-a-walrus-ha...

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