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Walrus radio-tracking in the southern Chukchi Sea 2010

Researchers attached 38 satellite radio-tags on Pacific walruses in early June in the southern Chukchi Sea during the 2010 spring northward migration, 32 tags on walruses resting in the ice margins of the northern Chukchi Sea in early July, 20 tags on walruses resting on shores of the eastern Chukchi Sea in early September, and up to 21 more tags on walruses resting on shores of the western Chukchi Sea in October.  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 December.

The animated map below depicts daily locations of tagged walruses and sea ice distribution. Radio deployment locations are shown with an X, while daily walrus relocations are show with a 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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