Walrus of the Chukchi Sea
Corwin Bluff Area is one area in the Lisburn Region where Walrus have been hauling out on land.
- Walrus of the Chukchi Sea
- 68.877749316 -165.0548172
- Wildlife & Habitats
In recent years it has become known that walrus are losing haul-out habitat as the ice recedes north past the shallow shelf waters used by walrus for feeding. This has resulted in driving the walrus to find beach areas where they can haul out and rest conserving valuable energy, especially in light of the significant loss of easy access to traditional feeding areas. Since this trend is brand new, it is extremely problematic to try and identify what is likely to become critical haul-out habitat in the form of beach areas, especially in relation to planning for disturbances related to development projects. Thus, this trend should be followed and referred to in the planning processes and the maximum amount of undisturbed beach areas in known and potential walrus haul-outs should be considered in mitigation measures and other avoidance protocols related to beaches along the eastern shore of the Chukchi Sea.
"Walruses use sea ice sort of like a conveyor belt," said Tim Ragen, executive director of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission. "As it moves along, they go with it and it takes them over feeding areas. What happens if you don't have resting platforms, i.e., ice, to get access to these different places?" If forced to haul out only on land, walruses will not reach feeding areas they formerly used, he said.
The Center for Biological Diversity submitted the 94-page Petition to List the Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) as a Threatened or Endangered Species under the Endangered Species Act (“Petition”) to the Secretary pursuant to Section 4 of the ESA. The Secretary received the Petition no later than February 8, 2008. Within 90 days of receipt of a Petition, the ESA requires the Secretary to determine, to the maximum extent practicable, whether the Petition presents substantial information indicating that listing “may be warranted,” and if so, to initiate a status review of the species. 15 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(3)(A). If the Secretary makes a positive 90-day finding, the ESA requires him to determine, within twelve months of the Petition being filed, whether the requested action (here, listing the Pacific walrus) is “warranted” and, if so, to publish a proposed rule listing the species. 15 U.S.C. § 1533(b)(3)(B).
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