Alaska Science Center
Walrus radio-tracking in the Chukchi Sea 2015
Radio deployment locations are shown with a red X on the day they occur.
Daily walrus relocations are shown with a yellow dot, and daily tracks are shown with an orange line.
Walrus Data: USGS Alaska Science Center researchers attached 39 satellite radio-tags to walruses in the northeastern Chukchi Sea, July 14-15 to track the movement patterns and foraging behaviors of walruses within areas of offshore sea ice.
The map below animates through daily locations of tagged walruses and sea ice distributions. Radio deployment locations are shown with a red X on the day they occur, while daily walrus relocations are show with a yellow dot and tracks are indicated by orange lines.
Sea Ice Data: Sea ice distribution shown here is based on daily sea ice analysis of marginal and pack ice provided by the National Ice Center (NIC) as the daily marginal ice zone product (http://www.natice.noaa.gov/products/). A daily emailing of these sea ice data for this study area is available formatted for display on virtual globes (such as 'Google Earth') upon request.
Project Purpose: The retreat of sea ice beyond the continental shelf in the past seven years represents a step change in the summer habitat for the Pacific walrus and our observations of their behavior under these conditions of extreme summer ice minimums is providing a glimpse into their potential response to future summertime sea ice loss. The loss of summer sea ice in the Chukchi Sea is also increasing opportunities for human activities in the Arctic, such as shipping and oil and gas activities.
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