A large gathering of over 3,000 walruses was spotted in Russia.
These gatherings are called haulouts and they are places of refuge for walruses, where they go to mate and socialize.
Take a look at these pictures …
What’s unusual about this haulout is that it was located in a remote corner of Russia’s Yamal peninsula. Haulouts are usually located on drifting sea ice or on Arctic islands … but because of the warming climate, the sea ice is shrinking.
This is really sad because it will definitely affect this beautiful species that only has about 12,500 members left. Walruses were listed as “nearly threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2106 because of climate change and because of all of the oil drillings in their habitat.
At one time, walruses were in danger of overharvesting when they were targeted by hunters for their blubber and ivory. Thankfully, the commercial hunting of walruses was banned internationally in the middle of the 20th century.
The good news is that this particularly large gathering could be a sign that the walruses are starting to recover. This particular hangout has both female and male walruses, as well as calves of different ages. Scientists are taking advantage of it and using the gathering to study the animals.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef we are rooting for the recovery of this wonderful species. These animals deserve a safe environment to live just like all living creatures. We have to do better at protecting them so that they can fully recover and thrive.
Have them watch this powerful video …
The director of this video, Amir Zakeri, created a masterclass for anyone in the Karmagawa and SaveTheReef community who would like to tell visual stories about the causes they care about. If you’re interested, here’s 50% off.
What do you think about the shrinking ice and how it’s affecting the walruses? Leave a comment below.
(Cover image: Zaruba Ondrej/Shutterstock)