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Walrus radio-tracking in the southern Chukchi Sea 2009

Researchers attached satellite radio-tags on walruses: 34 in early June in the southern Chukchi Sea during the 2009 spring northward migration; 6 more in early July near Barrow; and 16 more in mid September near Icy Cape during the sea ice minimum.  Tracking data from this study are intended to help us describe walrus movements, foraging areas, and sea ice habitats in the Chukchi Sea and the Chukchi Sea oil lease sale planning area and to provide insights on walrus foraging and movements.  We expect to track these walruses through early November.

The animated map below depicts daily locations of tagged walruses and sea ice distribution. Radio deployment locations are shown with a red X, while daily walrus relocations are show with a yellow dot.  Sea ice distribution is based on near-real time passive microwave imagery processed by the University of Bremen.  which is occasionally missing from some sectors of the Chukchi Sea and which does not reliably detect sea ice with less than 15 percent coverage.

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