Alaska Science Center
The Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) is one of 4 marine mammal species managed by the U.S. Department of Interior1. The USGS Alaska Science Center conducts long–term research on Pacific walruses to inform local, state, national and international policy makers regarding conservation of the species and its habitat. The goal of our current research efforts is to refine and enhance models to project the future status of the Pacific walrus in the rapidly changing Arctic environment.
Our most recent publications include:
Noren, S. R., M. S. Udevitz, L. Triggs, J. Paschke, L. Oland, and C. V. Jay. 2015. Identifying a reliable blubber measurement site to assess body condition in a marine mammal with topographically variable blubber, the Pacific walrus. Marine Mammal Science 31(2):658-676. doi:10.1111/mms.12186 [Details] [Full Publication]
Taylor, R. L. and M. S. Udevitz. 2015. Demography of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens): 1974-2006. Marine Mammal Science 31(1):231-254. doi:10.1111/mms.12156 [Details] [Full Publication]
Jay, C. V., J. M. Grebmeier, A. S. Fischbach, T. L. McDonald, L. W. Cooper, and F. Hornsby. 2014. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the northern Bering Sea. PLoS One 9(4):e93035. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093035 [Details] [Full Publication]
Noren, S. R., M. S. Udevitz, and C. V. Jay. 2014. Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 87(6). doi:10.1086/678237 [Details] [Full Publication]
Sonsthagen, S. A., K. Fales, C. V. Jay, G. K. Sage, and S. L. Talbot. 2014. Spatial variation and low diversity in the major histocompatibility complex in walrus (Odobenus rosmarus). Polar Biology 37(4):497-506. doi:10.1007/s00300-014-1450-9 [Details] [Full Publication]
Monson, D. H., M. S. Udevitz, and C. V. Jay. 2013. Estimating age ratios and size of Pacific walrus herds on coastal haulouts using video imaging. PLoS One 8(7):e69806. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069806 [Details] [Full Publication]
Udevitz, M. S., R. L. Taylor, J. Garlich-Miller, L. T. Quakenbush, and J. Snyder. 2013. Potential population-level effects of increased haulout-related mortality of Pacific walrus calves. Polar Biology 36(2):291-298. doi:10.1007/s00300-012-1259-3 [Details] [Full Publication]
Primary funding for USGS Pacific walrus research is provided by the USGS, including funding from the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, Wildlife Program, including the Science Support Partnership program, Outer Continental Shelf Program, and the Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative. Past support from the North Pacific Research Board.
1The other species managed by the DOI are sea otters, polar bears, and manatees. The U.S. Department of Commerce manages all other marine mammals.