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Susan Crockford: Mass haulouts of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, not due to low ice cover - 'The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense that has nothing to do with science..is blatant nonsense and those who support or encourage this interpretation are misinforming the public.' 'The Pacific walrus remains abundant, numbering at least 200,000 by some accounts, double the number in the 1950s' 'Dating back to at least the 1604, there have been reports of large walrus gatherings or haulouts.' - 'Walrus haulouts are not unusual and have long been recognized and islands have been set aside for such gatherings.' Walruses known to migrate away from ice in late summer & fall: AP’s own reporting debunks unprecedented walrus claims: The AP reported on 40,000 walruses in a haulout just 7 years ago in a single location.
The WISGS includes Round Island, Summit Island, Crooked Island, High Island, Black Rock and The Twins.
The WISGS was established in 1960 to protect one of the largest terrestrial haulout sites in North America for Pacific walrus ( The Alaskan government report noted that numbers of 14,000 walrus haulouts in a single day were not unusual.
According to this report, ice extent is not critical.
As Nelson noted in 2007: “When I read this in the (2007) ‘walrus’ Wikipedia entry, I’m also not convinced that lack of summer ice is necessarily a big deal.” 2007 Wikipedia entry: Note: This line has been omitted from the Wikipedia entry in 2014] Walrus stampede deaths benefit polar bears In addition, a 2007 WWF post inadvertently noted that the carcasses of stampeded walruses may actually be a great benefit to polar bears.
: AP: 2007: ‘3,000 walruses die in stampedes tied to Climate’ Walrus stampede deaths benefit polar bears: 'Stampeded remains of 100 walruses fed up to 185 polar bears' with 92 comments Climate Depot Special Report The October 1, 2014 Associated Press article linking the walrus gathering to melting sea ice, lacks historical perspective and contains serious spin that would lead readers to erroneous conclusions about walruses and the climate. Susan Crockford weighs in: Mass haulouts of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, not due to low ice cover – ‘The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense that has nothing to do with science…this is blatant nonsense and those who support or encourage this interpretation are misinforming the public.’ And Update #2 is here.] First off, walruses are not endangered.
A 2009 WWF blog report noted: “WWF Polar Bear coordinator Geoff York returned on 17 September from a trip along the Russian coast and saw a haul out there with an estimated 20,000 walruses near Ryrkaipiy (on the Chukchi Peninsula).” Update #3: ] AP’s own reporting debunks walrus claims Are 35,000 walruses gathering in “haulouts” on the shoreline with many be stampeded to death really that unusual? The AP reported on 40,000 walruses in a haulout just 7 years ago in a single location.
See: AP 12/14/2007: “40,000 in one spot” – “As a result, walruses came ashore earlier and stayed longer, congregating in extremely high numbers, with herds as big as 40,000 at Point Shmidt, a spot that had not been used by walruses as a “haulout” place for a century, scientists said.” As climate blogger Tom Nelson noted in a December 28 2007 analysis: “Are you saying that that spot *was* used as a haulout in earlier years? Nelson noted the media reported that “Walruses are vulnerable to stampedes when they gather in such large numbers.
See: 2007: ‘3,000 walruses die in stampedes tied to Climate’ Are walrus stampede deaths declining in recent years?
It is difficult to say based on reports, but a high of 3000 deaths in 2007 (for a whole season) to a low of 50 deaths in 2014 for a single location, but it does not appear to be an alarming trend.