Monday, September 13, 2010

Mass migration of female walruses and pups to dry land

The big story today is that thousands of mother walruses and their babies have moved to dry land in Alaska -- and in numbers that have never been seen before. Here is a photo of the big event:

Walrus high on the barrier Island beaches near Pt Lay, Alaska, 2010

The story, from _The Guardian_, goes on: "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."" Scary stuff, my friends.

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