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VIDEO: Thousands of walruses cling to shores of Alaska

USGS Science: Walrus Haul-Out 2011

Craig Medred

(From the U.S. Geological Survey): Female Pacific walruses and their calves traditionally spend summers far from shore, diving for benthic invertebrates over the shallow continental shelf waters of the Chukchi Sea. These female walruses and their calves prefer to rest between forage bouts on sea ice drifting above their feeding grounds. However, in recent years loss of summer sea ice over the continental shelf has forced many walruses to travel to the northwest coast of Alaska where they haul-out on shore to rest. This large herd of walruses hauled out near Point Lay, Alaska, in August 2011.