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Alaska Science Center

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A short film, "“Tracking Pacific Walrus: Expedition to the Shrinking Chukchi Sea Ice,," explores the walruses habitat and follows USGS researchers as they conduct their studies in the Arctic. The USGS-produced film contains exclusive footage of the large mammals in their natural habitat.

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:

Beatty, W. S., C. V. Jay, A. S. Fischbach, J. M. Grebmeier, R. L. Taylor, A. L. Blanchard, and S. C. Jewett. 2016. Space use of a dominant Arctic vertebrate: Effects of prey, sea ice, and land on Pacific walrus resource selection. Biological Conservation 203:25-32. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.08.035 [Details] [Full Publication]

Fischbach, A. S. and C. V. Jay. 2016. A strategy for recovering continuous behavioral telemetry data from Pacific walruses. Wildlife Society Bulletin. doi:10.1002/wsb.685 [Details] [Full Publication]

Fischbach, A.S., Kochnev, A.A., Garlich-Miller, J.L., and Jay, C.V., 2016, Pacific walrus coastal haulout database, 1852-2016—Background report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1108, 27 p. doi:10.3133/ofr20161108 [Details] [Full Publication]

Beatty, W. S., C. V. Jay, and A. S. Fischbach. 2016. An evaluation of behavior inferences from Bayesian state-space models: A case study with the Pacific walrus. Marine Mammal Science In Press doi:10.1111/mms.12332 [Details] [Full Publication]

Noren, S. R., M. S. Udevitz, and C. V. Jay. 2016. Sex-specific energetics of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) during the nursing interval. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 89(2). doi:10.1086/685454 [Details] [Full Publication]

Noren, S. R., C. V. Jay, J. M. Burns, and A. S. Fischbach. 2015. Rapid maturation of the muscle biochemistry that supports diving in Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Journal of Experimental Biology 218:3319-3329. doi:10.1242/jeb.125757 [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.


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Page Last Modified: December 6, 2016