35,000 Walruses Stranded On Alaskan Shore
Alaska Region U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Flickr
Since Pacific walruses can’t find sea ice for resting in Arctic waters, they are coming ashore in record numbers off the coast of Alaska. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, around 35,000 walruses are stranded five miles north of Point Lay.
The animals had to find shelter on the beach because there is no sea ice due to rising temperatures. Scientists are fearful that climate change is to blame for this strange gathering.
Margaret Williams, managing director of WWF’s Arctic programme, said that the walruses have been forced onto the beach by global warming.
“The massive concentration of walruses onshore – when they should be scattered broadly in ice-covered waters – is just one example of the impacts of climate change on the distribution of marine species in the Arctic. The sharp decline of Arctic sea ice over the last decade means major changes for wildlife and communities alike. These photos are yet another reminder of the urgent need to ratchet down global greenhouse gas emissions – the main human factor driving massive climate change.”
Williams also said that this is not the first time climate change has affected life on Arctic and that people need to change their ways.
“It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss. The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change.”