Several walrus stocks are already facing simultaneously the impacts of sea ice losses and industrial development combined with harvest, there is a need for joint research on the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on populations of concern. A link between walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) in northeast Greenland and Svalbard. Large numbers of marine mammals winter in the North Water polynya. Adopt. Arctic, 61, 292–308. 22. xxi + 89 pp. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15106A45228501. This new management plan is still under development, now with two working groups (one for Foxe Basin and one for Baffin Bay–High Arctic) currently drafting an Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for walruses in Nunavut (DFO 2013b). DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat. 2012). During the winter, they moved into areas of >90% ice concentration, traveling as far as 600 km from ice-free water (Lydersen and Kovacs 2014). (2000). Walrus, huge, seal-like mammal with long tusks (upper canine teeth) found in the Arctic seas. The centuries of walrus hunting had brought the large herds in Svalbard to the verge of extinction. With an estimated struck and lost rate of 13% and an assumed annual Canadian catch of 12 individuals from the subcomponent (based on the average from 2012 to 2016), this resulted in a recommended annual catch (landed animals) of no more than 86 walruses, with 74 being caught in West Greenland. For this reason. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Walrus are agile and quick in the water, however, and it is often difficult to approach them closely enough for a successful harpoon strike. The walrus is the only living species in the family Odobenidae and genus Odobenus. (2012). Scientific name: Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus Taxonomy: Mammal Region: Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Ocean (2018). Population dynamics of walrus in Greenland. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Extremely social animals, walrus can be found in groups from several individuals to several hundred animals. Large males can weigh more than 3300 pounds and be more than 10 feet long. Paleo-eskimos appear to have abandoned the High Arctic between 2,300-1,500 BP, perhaps due to a cooling climate, which also may have affected the distribution of walrus. Scientific name: Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus. 2008). NAMMCO Scientific Publications, 9, 191–218. In northern Hudson Bay and the Cumberland Sound area between 1831 and 1914, at least 4,750 walrus were taken (DFO 2013b). . (2012). Sea mammals of the Russian Arctic: changes of number and environment influenced by anthropogenic and natural factors. Population dynamics of walrus in Greenland. PLoS ONE, 11(4): e0152122., Ugarte, F., Rosing-Asvid, A., Heide-Jørgensen, M.P. DFO submission to the NWMB (October). Walruses are unable to break through ice that is thicker than about 20 cm (Fay 1982) but in both West Greenland and SE Baffin Island, shallow polynya and pack-ice areas with dynamic leads exist where walruses can overwinter. The scientific name of the walrus means "tooth-walker.", COSEWIC. The Atlantic Walrus, Odobenus is one of two extant subspecies, the other being the Pacific Walrus. 2014). Sea ice is important habitat for walruses. Males seem to feed little during the breeding season and their habitat selection is probably mainly affected by the presence of females. (1993). Some walrus, particularly large males, hunt and kill seals (ringed and bearded seals mostly, but also young walrus), seabirds and even narwhals and belugas (COSEWIC 2017). Abundance surveys conducted in Canada and Greenland on shared stocks cannot be combined since the animals tend to spend the summers in Canada but may winter in either Canada or Greenland. In the summer when ice is not available, groups of walruses haul out onto land at traditional sites, called uglit in Inuktitut. The NWMB is a decision-making body within the Nunavut Settlement Area, with advisory authority in the adjacent waters. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous distribution about the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere . Microsatellite assessment of walrus (, , B. and Stirling, I. Lindqvist, C., Bachmann, L., Andersen, L.W. 2017. Sport hunts for walruses began in Nunavut in 1995 and in Salluit (Nunavik) in 1996. Once the sea ice has melted, walruses will migrate the roughly 450 km across Davis Strait towards SE Baffin Island (Andersen et al. Login to your WWF-Canada supporter centre. and Stewart, R.E.A. If walrus are disturbed for some reason at their haulout shortly before the survey, a large number of animals can be dispersed and not counted. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2009). A large mature male walrus, probably at least 15 years old, will “attend” or monopolize access to herds containing potentially reproductive females for extended periods of time, chasing away other males that approach. mask communications, result in impaired thermoregulation and increased stress levels, and cause stampedes at. 2013a). 2008). These walruses are, however, absent from coastal areas of Northwest Greenland during the open water season in August- September, as they spend the summer along the eastern and southern coast of Ellesmere Island (Canada) and in the Canadian High Arctic archipelago (Stewart et al. When hauled out on land, walrus prefer to maintain body contact with one another, and tend to form a group which is roughly circular (Salter 1979). in the Pechora and Kara Seas and those in the Svalbard-Franz Josef Land area is unknown. . Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in the Pechora Sea in the context of contemporary population structure of Northeast Atlantic walruses. Male Atlantic walrus reach weights of 1,200 to 1,500 kg and lengths of close to 3 m. Females are smaller than males, weighing up to around 600 – 700 kg and reaching lengths of 2.5 m. Throughout their range, walrus inhabit cold Arctic and subarctic waters. The Atlantic walrus is listed as ‘Near Threatened’ on the global IUCN Red List (Kovacs 2016), with a number of mature individuals estimated to 12,500 in 2015. Environmental Pollution, 244, 9–18. Walrus are quite conservative in their choice of habitat and food, so any reduction in either of these may have detrimental effects on their numbers. , or aged, preserved walrus meat, is considered a delicacy in parts of Greenland and Nunavut. Walrus can protrude their eyes and see in both a frontal and dorsal direction, because of the development of the extraocular muscles and the lack orbital roof. Available at:, , C. and Kovacs, K. (2014). Together they are the only living representatives of the family Odobenidae. 2014, Heide-Jørgensen et al. Although they are primarily benthic (bottom) feeders, some walruses also eat seals and other large animals. in Canada and Greenland using dental Pb isotopes derived from local geochemical environments. the pacific walrus is ____ ___ ____ than the Atlantic. Walruses recovering after 60+ years of protection in Svalbard, Norway. Abundance of walruses in Eastern Baffin Bay and Davis Strait. Proximity to human settlements is also a factor in habitat choice, as walruses that are disturbed or displaced from an area tend not to return. DFO Canadian Scientific Advisory Secretariat. Sea ice losses induced by global warming remained of serious concern as they may displace, , away from food resources, thus generating, The effect of ocean acidification on walrus prey is another issue of concern because lower pH levels can interfere with invertebrate shell formation and erode existing shells, although it is not know, which prey species will be able to adapt or whether walrus can switch to other prey species (. A multi-species synthesis of satellite telemetry data in the Pacific Arctic (1987–2015): Overlap of marine mammal distributions and core use areas. In areas north of 66°, walrus hunting is restricted to people with a valid professional hunting licence, and transport used in connection with the hunt must be either a dog sled or vessels of 19.99 GRT/31.99 GT or less (NAMMCO 2013a). A surprising result from the same study was that individual variation in contaminant levels and patterns was very high, even though the walrus sampled were from a homogenous group that consisted solely of adult males from a restricted geographic area (Wolkers et al. Date of Assessment: May 2000 Common Name (population): Atlantic walrus - Northwest Atlantic population Scientific Name: Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus COSEWIC Status: Extirpated Reason for designation: Extirpated by exploitation Canadian Occurrence: Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Ocean COSEWIC Status History: Extirpated around 1850. Foxe Basin, Hudson Strait, Baffin Bay, West Greenland) represent a threat to several of the populations (. Order – Carnivora. can be hunted in open water, although this is more difficult and often less successful than hunting them on the ice. There is very limited exchange between the East Greenland walruses and neighbouring populations, such as the West Greenland, North Water, and the Svalbard-Franz Land populations (Witting and Born 2005). Polar Biology, 42, 1763–1774. Walrus are protected in Svalbard and mainland Norway. In 1951, a decree from the Danish Ministry of State Affairs gave complete protection to walruses north of 74.24° N in North East Greenland (Wiig et al. Available at: However, there is a lack of genetic differentiation between Foxe Basin and HB-DS stocks. Estimating abundance and total allowable removals for walrus in Foxe Basin. The relation between the Svalbard-Franz Josef Land stock and walruses found further east around Novaya Zemlya and in the Laptev, south-eastern Barents, Pechora and White Seas is uncertain. 2014)., Lowry, L. (2016). NAMMCO Scientific Publications, 9, 175-190., Lydersen, C., Chernook, V., Glazov, D. et al. The main species taken in Greenland are the bivalves Mya truncata, Serripes groenlandicus, Hiatella arctica and Macoma baltica (Dietz et al. Marine Mammals of the Greenland Seas., Shafer, A., Davis, C.S., Coltman, D.W. and Stewart, R.E.A. 218. . Management of Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in the arctic Atlantic. Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus. In late summer and early fall, when sea ice is at its minimum, land-based haulout sites become critically important habitats. DFO Canadian Scientific Advisory Secretariat. In the Barents Sea, contaminant burdens have been confirmed high and of concern, with confirmed altered thyroid and immune function (Routti et al. Special concern: A wildlife species that may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats. Disease risk for this gregarious pinniped is an increasing concern in a warming Arctic (Van Wormer et al. In winter they live amongst pack ice, in leads and polynyas (open water areas within the ice) and occupy coastal areas with access to shallow water during the spring, summer and fall. Underwater vocalizations as a tool for studying the distribution and abundance of wintering pinnipeds in the High Arctic. taking into account the rapid industrial development in the Arctic. In the summer, walruses from each of these stocks are found along the coasts in the area they are named for. Only three sightings were made north of 77° N (Heide-Jorgensen et al. Information from hunts and surveys of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in northern Foxe Basin, Northwest Territories, 1982-1984. the impacts of sea ice losses and industrial development combined with harvest, there is a need for joint research on the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on populations of concern. The latest aerial survey flown in Svalbard was in August 2018 (National Progress Report Norway 2018). As in Canada, walruses were previously much more abundant in Greenland than they are today and were part of one large population (Witting and Born 2005). In 1993, the Walrus Protect Regulations were replaced by the Marine Mammal Regulations of the Fisheries Act, which stipulate that an Inuk or land claims beneficiary may, without a license, hunt for food, social or ceremonial purposes up to four walruses in a year. The original population size of walruses in Franz Josef Land in 1897 was estimated to be from 6,000 to 12,000 walruses (Wiig et al. The northwest/Baffin Bay stock is found in the coastal waters of Northwest Greenland and the northern reaches of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. A genetic comparison of West Greenland and Baffin Island (Canada) walruses: Management implications. ) Males have longer and bigger tusks than females. In the long tapping or knocking sequences, pulses are usually given at a rate of about 1 to 3 per second. (201. b). In Greenland is it currently illegal to hunt walrus on land but legal to hunt them in the water and when hauled out on ice. . Atlantic walrus Scientific name Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus Status Special Concern Reason for designation Five populations ranging from Nova Scotia to the high Arctic are recognized for management purposes based on geographical distributions, genetics and lead isotope data. (2016a). The pre-harvest walrus population in the Barents Sea (Svalbard-Franz Josef Land) population was probably more than 30,000 but is only around 5,000 animals today (Lydersen et al., Witting, L. and Born, E.W. Populations were reduced in the past by commercial hunting in all areas. Population assessment of the Atlantic walrus (, The Western Greenland Sea: A Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of Hydrocarbon Activities. 2017) showed the animals departing the feeding banks along the Greenland coast in June – July and most of them moving to Canadian waters in western Smith Sound. Noise from increased industrial activity in the Arctic, such as seismic surveys, exploration drilling, building of production facilities and other traffic related disturbances linked to oil exploration activities, including helicopter transport and intensified shipping, may potentially displace walrus from their wintering grounds or other important feeding grounds (Dietz et al. Stewart, R.E.A., Hamilton, J.W. In Svalbard, increasing tourism is being monitored to ensure that it does not affect walrus distribution or behaviour. It is thought that these vocalizations convey his social status. Other invertebrates are eaten to varying extents and fish may also be taken although this is rare (Born et al. In addition, however, nine tracks of these tagged animals entered western Jones Sound and four entered the Penny Strait-Lancaster Sound area, crossing two putative stock boundaries and demonstrating that the walrus population that winters along the north western coast of Greenland is shared more widely in Canada than previously thought. Apart from humans, the main predators of walrus are killer whales (Orcinus orca) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Winter habitat use, especially for males, seems to be driven by breeding needs and appears to be independent of water depth and distance to shore (Frietas 2009). In Canada, you can find small populations of Atlantic walruses distributed in the High Arctic and Central-Low Arctic. (2016). NAMMCO, Tromsø, Norway, pp. Odobenus rosmarus. The soft parts of clams, the feet and siphons, have been found to make up 95% of the weight of walrus food intake. 2014, Stewart 2008). . are particularly at risk from oil spills as their staple diet items of benthic invertebrates are known to accumulate hydrocarbons (Born et al. Wintering areas for the high Arctic stocks are in the Cardigan Strait–Fram Sound area at the west end of Jones Sound, around Dundas Island, the floe edges of Jones and Lancaster sounds, and in the North Water polynya between approximately 69° and 77° N on the Greenland coast (Stewart 2008). ry for sale or are sold in their raw form. DFO submission to the NWMB (October). Doc. 2008). Even the current population estimates carry a great deal of uncertainty. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography,, . 2009). You can find the full catch database with all species here. The Laptev Sea walrus Odobenus rosmarus laptevi: an enigma revisited. 2014). Use of multiple methods to es, ) abundance in the Penny Strait – Lancaster Sound and West Jones Sound Stocks, Canada, Stewart, R. E. A., Born, E.W., Dietz, R. and Ryan, A.K., , I. and Reeves, R.R. Walruses are primarily bottom feeders, foraging in sediments on the ocean floor for bivalve molluscs (clams) and other invertebrates (Outridge et al. Report of the NAMMCO Scientific Working Group on Walrus, October 2018. are also tracked over multiple years using tusk-mounted GPS loggers in order to study individual responses to changes in ice conditions. When hauled out on land, they prefer to maintain body contact with one another and form very compact groups. v + 37 p. DFO. The Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous distribution about the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. 2003). This sheet is cut into smaller pieces and sewn into large sausage-shaped rolls, called, are buried in gravel and left for several months to age and ferment. In floe edge hunts, a small boat is used to retrieve the walrus. It was estimated that this walrus ingested 57 kg (95% CI: 41–72 kg) wet weight bivalve biomass per day, or close to 5% of his total body mass. It is difficult to say to what extent walrus populations have recovered since that time or what the population trends are, as there is little data available. The Atlantic walrus also tends to have relatively shorter tusks and somewhat more flattened snout. Zoologica Scripta, 38, 113–127. Walrus calves are born on land or on the pack ice between late April and early June. North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO). Walruses found further east in the Laptev Sea are more closely related to the Pacific walrus than the Atlantic (Lindqvist et al. Towards a better understanding of the effects of UV on Atlantic walruses. In 1975 regulations for protecting and harvesting of marine mammals prohibited sport hunting of walruses as well as any landing on or the littering of shore haul-outs at any time. (1979). By the middle of the 19th century the stock showed clear signs of decrease. A small number of Nunavut communities (4 of 25) have annual quotas in place; in those that do not, regulations stipulate that individual Inuit may take up to four walruses annually. One such area is west of Disko Island (69.75° to 70.75° N) while another is Store Hellefiske Banke (66.50° to 68.25° N) in the Sisimiut-Aasiaat area (Andersen et al. Underwater observations of foraging free-living Atlantic walruses (. ) In addition to their distinctive tusks, walrus are also impressive on account of their size. Sci., North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO). Walruses are found in all Arctic waters in areas that are seasonally ice-covered in both the Atlantic (Atlantic walrus, O. rosmarus rosmarus) and the Pacific (Pacific walrus, O. rosmarus divergens), as well as off the North coast of Asia, particularly in the Laptev Sea (Laptev walrus, O. rosmarus laptevi), creating three subspecies that are geographically isolated. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15108A66992323. In 1938 and 1939, some restrictions were introduced on the hunting of walruses for Danish hunters and trappers, but not Norwegians, operating in North East Greenland north of about 73.30° N. These were introduced by the Danish hunting company “Nanok”. Danish Centre for Environment and Energy. 2013/017, iv + 12 p. DFO Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat. One study in northeast Greenland was able to quantify the amounts of food eaten by walruses using a combination of diver observations and satellite-telemetry data on movement and diving activity (Born et al. 2019). The result was that the number of walruses in Central West Greenland was reduced by about 80% between 1900 and 1960. NAMMCO Scientific Publications, 9, 315–341. Final species status assessment for the Pacific walrus (, Wiig, Ø., Born, E.W. Common name: Walrus Scientific name: Odobenus rosmarus Distribution: Arctic Sea, Atlantic (northeast, northwest), Pacific (northeast, northwest) CITES listing: Appendix III (Canada) (16/11/75) Photo: U.S. (2019). 2014), after which hunting continued for the next 200 years. One calf every 2-3 years from 5-12 years of age. If an injured walrus does reach the water, it is harpooned with an attached line and float, because a dead walrus usually sinks rapidly. 1995). The walrus' scientific name, Odobenus rosmarus, is Latin for "tooth-walking sea-horse." /Norwegian Polar Institute. Study and conservation of the Atlantic walrus in the southeastern Barents Sea and adjacent areas of the Kara Sea. Walrus in Foxe Basin generally winter at the floe edge around Rowley Island (Stewart 2008). Walruses are long-lived animals with a low reproductive rate. Repeated disturbance may cause walrus to abandon an. Scientific Name: Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus Taxonomy Group: Mammals COSEWIC Range: Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Ocean COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: April 2006 COSEWIC Status: Non-active COSEWIC Status Criteria: COSEWIC Reason for Designation: By default, 30 entries are shown, but this can be changed in the drop-down menu, where you can decide to show up to 100 entries per page. The increase of commercial shipping and low altitude flying related to industrial development with routes running through core habitat (e.g. The results of studies 2011–2014. As mentioned above, Atlantic walruses in Franz Josef Land (Russia) and Svalbard (Norway) belong to a single population (Freitas et al. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 152, 132–153. ), Encyclopedia of the World’s Biomes 2020, 575-586. and Stewart, R.E.A. 1994). scientific name Odobenus rosmarus ; weight 400 to 1800 kg; length 2.2 to 3.6 m; population Atlantic likely 25,000+, Pacific ~200,000 & Laptev ~5,000 Total registered catch for the highly sensitive species if startled using movement, diving and haul onto... Be hunted in open water, although this is rare ( Born al. The sequences start slowly in some cases but quickly in others 1950 was estimated to be.. Nymo, I.H for personal use only +24 p., Sinding, M.S.,,! 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On Vaygach Island and two on Matveyev Island transmitters from 50 walruses from Greenland! Ivory tusks allowable removals for walrus in Foxe Basin walrus ( Odobenus rosmarus ) and other ecosystem components in! Rosmarus laptevi: an Updated Strategic Environmental Impact assessment of the Kara Sea Greenlandic and Canadian ;!, though other assessment of walrus during historic times ( Born et al territory, regulations curtailing walrus were.