Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thousands of walruses die in stampede

This past summer and fall on the Russian side of the Bering Strait an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 walruses out of a population of 20o,000 died in stampedes. Walruses are susceptible to stampedes when they congregate in huge numbers. Sight of a polar bear, a hunter, or a low-flying plan can cause them to flood into the water. Some scientists see this as another consequence of global warming. Walruses dive into the water to eat clams and snails, but since they cannot swim indefinitely, they often rest on sea ice or land for a few weeks at a time. However warm weather, ocean currents and winds contributed to ice disappearances. This caused walruses to stay ashore on land eariler and longer and in greater numbers. Lack of sea ice in the summer could cause walruses to strip the coastal areas of food and further reduce their numbers. Most of the animals that were crushed were young and weak including many calves that were born in the spring.

Posted by: Gina Sciartilli (12)


At 7:21 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

Hi Gina,
This is interesting, but there are a few things to shore up. Read over it and check your spelling. "Plan" should be "plane". "Eariler" should be "earlier". Just little things, bt the content is great. Try to include a link to the original article as well, I would love to read it. I sure hope that they can learn to cope with ice loss, based on the recent conference in Bali I don't see anything changing soon!

Posted by Kyle McCarthy

At 7:23 PM, Blogger PWH said...

It is very sad that thousands of walruses die in stampedes. A lot has to do with predation and global warming. Are there any other ecological factors that contribute to their decline? I was also wondering if there were any organizations that can help save the walruses so that they do not reach extinction?

Posted By: Nelina Bridge (12)

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At 8:59 PM, Blogger PWH said...

Wow that's very interesting article. Its amazing how global warming is starting to become the root to many problems in the world. I truly wonder if there are other issues facing the walruses other than that, like predation, reproduction rates, etc.

Posted by Joanne Philippeaux


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