Posted on 09 October 2015
Studying and preserving the atlantic walrus in the southeast Barents Sea and adjacent areas of the Kara Sea
Development in the Barents Sea, north of Norway and Russia, continues to grow, putting pressure on wildlife. To prepare for the conservation challenges ahead, WWF-Russia and the Marine Mammal Council have completed a study of the Atlantic walrus population in the region.
Download "Studying and preserving the atlantic walrus in the southeast Barents Sea and adjacent areas of the Kara Sea" (PDF)
"The southeastern part of the Barents Sea is faced with the rapid development of shipping and mineral extraction. All this could put walruses at risk", explains Margarita Puhova, coordinator for marine biodiversity at WWF Russia.
The long-term project used a wide range of existing and novel research methods, from on-the-ground observations to aerial surveys, satellite tagging and genetic studies. The researchers also used highly-detailed satellite imagery to estimate the size of walrus gatherings on land, or haulouts.
"Ten years ago, we had very little reliable data on the current state of the population - only scraps of information from a single expedition", says Puhova. "To develop measures for the conservation of the Atlantic walrus, first we needed to study them."