pacific walrus under siege

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PACIFIC WALRUS Under Siege

PACIFIC WALRUS Under SiegeMitch Weintraub: nrs 407: dr.mckinney

Help me out, man!

Pacific Walrus is one of two species of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) recognized by scientists.Semi-aquatic mammalsRange 7-11 feet in length, can weigh up to 3,700 lbs.Large tusks- up to 3 feet in length- used for foraging, defense, emerging from waterDiet includes mussels, clams, other bottom dwelling organisms- some may eat seals.

The basicsWalruses are intelligent, social creatures, usually existing in herds.Wish I could read

Some may eat what?

Habitat/range

The tough, blubbery exterior of the Pacific walrus allows them to thrive in artic areas. They can also slow their heart rate to adapt to freezing aquatic conditions!

Bering, Chukchi and Laptev Sea

WHATS the problem?

Historically, walruses have been hunted for ivory sale.

Walruses have relatively low fecundity rates and long lifespans (35-40 years)Whats a fecundity?Due to biological predisposition for population disruption, limited distribution and overharvesting, P.W. population numbers declined >20% between 1981-1999, but today the BIGGEST concern is.

Climate changeAnd Habitat Disruption

Threatened: warranted, but precluded

In 2011, due to alarming decrease in extent of Arctic sea ice (highlighted above,) USFWS lists the Pacific Walrus as Threatened: Warranted but Precluded. In the not too distant future, disappearing sea ice and habitat loss could have a tremendous impact on P.W populations

Uh-oh

WHAT CAN WE DO?With public push, walrus could be listed under USFWS Special Rule with polar bear by 2017, sharing similar habitat.Limit human interference with walrus populations through pollution, ship traffic, etc. in newly melted glacial areasContinue and abide by strict current hunting regulation on P.W populations. Hunting levels