Russian scientists have discovered a “unique” walrus haulout on the shores of the Kara Sea where their habitat is under threat from shrinking ice and human activity.
The IUCN had listed the species as “nearly threatened” in 2016. “This haulout is unique because there are both female and male walruses, as well as calves of different age,” a researcher said.
According to Reuters, Walrus haulouts have traditionally been located on drifting sea ice or on Arctic islands, scientists say. But warmer climate cycles mean sea ice is shrinking and habitats are under threat from oil and gas exploration and more Arctic shipping.
Scientists have taken DNA samples and fitted several walruses with satellite tags to monitor their movements for up to several months.8i