Arctic Walrus Change Mass Haul Out Behavior

SeaDiscovery.com
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Arctic Walrus Haul Out: Photo courtesy of NOAA

NOAA scientists participating in this year's annual Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals project in Alaska say they have photographed an area where thousands of Pacific walruses haul out of the ocean on a remote barrier island in the Chukchi Sea, near Pt. Lay.

Scientists say it is difficult to provide an accurate count of the number of walruses densely packed together on coastal haulouts. Using aerial photographs, scientists estimated that this year's haulout at Pt. Lay initially contained 1,500 to 4,000 animals on Sept. 12. The number of walruses had increased to 5,500 to 8,000 when sighted on Sept. 22, and on Sept. 27, biologists estimated that there were approximately 10,000 walruses.

"Large walrus haulouts along the Alaskan coasts in the northeastern Chukchi Sea are a relatively new phenomenon," said Megan Ferguson, marine mammal scientist with NOAA Fisheries. "NOAA's research doesn't typically extend to studying walruses, since this is a species managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), so you can imagine how exciting it was for us to be able to collect such valuable data for our partner agencies."

In the past, walruses used sea ice habitat offshore in the northern Chukchi Sea as resting platforms in between dives to the bottom of the shallow Chukchi Sea where they feed on their preferred prey, including clams, snails and worms, during the summer and autumn. Due to loss of ice in offshore areas, walruses are foraging in more coastal areas and using beaches for resting (hauling out).

Conserving and restoring protected species such as whales is one of NOAA Fisheries' core missions. The goal of the surveys is to document the distribution and relative abundance of bowhead, gray, minke, fin whales, beluga whales and other marine mammals in areas of potential oil and natural gas exploration, development and production activities in the Alaskan Arctic.

This study is being funded and co-managed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)'s environmental studies program.
 

Maritime Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Rosneft and NADL Sign Exchange of Assets Deal

Rosneft, Seadrill Limited and North Atlantic Drilling Limited (NADL) signed a Framework Agreement that envisages long-term cooperation in the sphere of oilfield development projects.

Norman Murray, Petrofac Chairman Quits

Petrofac, the international oil & gas facilities service provider, today announces that Norman Murray, who has been Chairman since May 2011, has resigned from

MN 100: AEP River Operations

16150 Main Circle Drive, Suite #400 St. Louis, MO 63017 Tel: (636) 530-2100  Email: info@aepriverops.com Website: www.aepriverops.com President: Keith Darling The

Environmental

Japanese Technology Helps Farmers to Changes in Climate

The Japanese technology firms are using their experience in saving energy and in cloud technology to help farmers cope with changes in climate, cheaper imports and declining labor.

MARAD: Total Fuel Cycle Study for Natural Gas

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) released a study that evaluates total fuel cycle emissions for natural gas versus conventional marine fuels. Results showed

Caribbean Storm Likely to Strengthen, Veers Away from US

A low-pressure system moved over Puerto Rico on Friday and is expected to veer northeast away from the U.S. East Coast but still has an 80 percent chance of forming

Arctic Operations

EBDG Completes Repower of COLUMBIA

Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), a leading naval architecture and marine engineering firm with offices in Seattle, New Orleans and Ketchikan, Alaska today announced

EMGS Reports 2Q and 1H 2014 Results

Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA's (EMGS) reported revenues of USD 42.5 million in the second quarter 2014, down from USD 61.3 million in the first quarter this year and from USD 44.

Injured Crewman Medevaced from S.Korean Icebreaker

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter medevaced a crewmember suffering from a head injury from the South Korean research icebreaker Araon 250 miles north of Barrow, Wednesday.

Ocean Observation

Atlantic Slows Warming, Temperature Rises Seen Resuming from 2030

The Atlantic Ocean has masked global warming this century by soaking up vast amounts of heat from the atmosphere in a shift likely to reverse from around 2030 and spur fast temperature rises,

Storm near Lesser Antilles Could Develop into cyclone

An elongated area of low pressure located about 350 miles east of the Lesser Antilles has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, the U.

Two-way Route in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait

The IMO-adopted ship routeing measure to enhance the safety and efficiency of navigation and protect the region’s sensitive marine environment will come into

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2418 sec (4 req/sec)