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Walrus radio-tracking in the southern Chukchi Sea 2008

Researchers attached satellite radio-tags to 28 Pacific walruses in the southern Chukchi Sea region during the 2008 spring northward migration.  Tracking data from this study are intended to help us describe walrus movements, foraging areas, and sea ice habitats within the Minerals Management Service Chukchi Sea oil lease sale planning area.  We expect to track these walruses through early July.

The animated map below depicts daily locations of tagged walruses and sea ice distribution.  Sea ice distribution is based on near-real time passive microwave imagery processed by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.  The passive microwave imagery does not reliably detect sea ice with less than 15 percent coverage.  Side maps are higher resolution (250 m pixels) visual images from MODIS satellites acquired by NASA during clear sky conditions, which reveal loose marginal and sparse ice utilized by walruses south of the main ice pack.

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Bering_Straits MODIS image on June 11, 2008


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