Top. 2,500 in the High Arctic population (DU1), ca. The ICUN classifies the walrus as "Vulnerable", a current population trend for both subspecies is still unknown. There are three walrus populations in Canada: High Arctic, Central/Low Arctic and Nova Scotia-Newfoundland- Gulf of St Lawrence (extirpated). Atlantic walruses historically ranged from the central Canadian Arctic east to the Kara Sea, north to Franz Josef Land and south to Nova Scotia, Canada. SARA Status: Under Consideration 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. 2013. 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. The walrus is a pinniped, or fin-footed mammal, and is related to seals and sea lions. © 2021 WWF - World Wide Fund For Nature © 1986 Panda Symbol WWF – World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund)® “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark DFO Can. The population has been extirpated and therefore no longer exists in the wild in Canada but occasional individuals, probably migrants from Today, the government of Canada says there may be up to several thousand Atlantic walruses living in Eastern Arctic waters. The population has been extirpated and therefore no longer exists in the wild in Canada but occasional individuals, probably migrants from This species is under consideration for listing as Special Concern under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). The Atlantic covers news, politics, culture, technology, health, and more, through its articles, podcasts, videos, and flagship magazine. WWF has mapped the enormous potential reach of an oil spill in the Barents Sea. Walruses have been part of the culture of many indigenous Arctic cultures for thousands of years. Their faces feature two small eyes, a mustache and two long tusks.Walruses weigh from 600 to 1,500 kilograms (1,320 to 3,300 lbs.) In Canada, you can find small populations of Atlantic walruses distributed in the High Arctic and Central-Low Arctic. Short fur covers most of their bodies except for their fins. DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada). Walruses give birth in May. COSEWIC Status: Special Concern The Atlantic walrus in Canada was originally treated by COSEWIC (in both April 1987 and May 2000) as two separate populations: Eastern Arctic population (Not at Risk) and Northwest Atlantic population … The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the species as “nearly threatened” in 2016, estimating the total number of adult Atlantic walruses in the world at 12,500. Scientific Name: Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus Taxonomy Group: Mammals COSEWIC Range: Nunavut, Arctic Ocean COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: April 2017 COSEWIC Status: Special Concern COSEWIC Status Criteria: COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This population numbers in the low thousands.It is not clear whether the aggregated … In the past decade, earlier melting of sea ice in the summer has forced abnormally large numbers of Pacific walruses ashore on the coasts of Russia and Alaska. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the species as "nearly threatened" in 2016, estimating the total number of adult Atlantic walruses in the world at … In addition to direct impacts like icebreaking ships and disturbance to walruses on shore, there’s an increased risk of oil spills. Atlantic Walruses occupy a large range but have a quite narrow ecological niche. The principal threat to existing Atlantic walrus is human hunting. The walrus was once threatened by commercial hunting, but today the biggest danger it faces is climate change. Life history and reproduction. Population number. The High Arctic population is shared with Greenland and includes: Penny Strait-Lancaster Sound, western Jones Sound, and Baffin Bay. The Svalbard population is thought to include about 2000 animals. It is a keystone species in Arctic marine ecosystems. A WWF expedition in 2013 collected DNA samples from the walruses of the Laptev Sea to determine their relationship to other subspecies. In April 2006, COSEWIC included both populations in a single designatable unit for Atlantic Walrus in When walruses aren’t in the ocean, they live in groups on land or sea ice, called haulouts. Estimates of abundance and total allowable removals for Atlantic Walrus (. While no evidence of a trend exists, recent estimates of population size in some areas of the range of the Central-Low Arctic population are higher than in the past. Atlantic Walrus High Arctic population. Although the species has been extirpated from the Northwest Atlantic, the Mackenzie delta and the St. Lawrence River, Walrus are found in Arctic waters from the polar ice-sheet in the Arctic Ocean to the Bering Sea, James Bay and the Labrador coast. The Atlantic Walrus was previously assessed by COSEWIC as Special Concern in 2006 when all of the eastern Arctic Walruses were treated as a single population. Taxonomy: Mammals (marine) In 2017 the population was reassessed by COSEWIC as a species of Special Concern, but was split into … The populations once found in the St. Lawrence, … The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the species as "nearly threatened" in 2016, estimating the total number of adult Atlantic walruses in the world at 12,500. There are two subspecies: Pacific walrus (O.r. laptevi), lives in the Laptev Sea, Russia, while others consider these w… Abrasion patterns of the tusks show that they are dragged through the sediment, but are not used to dig up prey. Oceana Canada needs your support to protect the oceans and sea life. Sec. There are no estimates available on the number of Walrus in Canada. More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available on the Species at Risk Public Registry. The life span of a walrus is over 35 years and a female can produce a single calf about every three years. Available population estimates for extant Atlantic Walrus populations and stocks in Canada are summarized in Table 1 and detailed in Appendix 1 The total estimated abundance of Walrus in Canada from the studies in Table 1 is ca. WWF has created maps and posters for Canadian ships in the Arctic to help mariners identify and avoid marine mammals. Other dangers include habitat disturbances, ocean acidification, and toxic pollution. The commercial harvesting of walrus in the 19th and 20th centuries resulted in a rapid decrease of walrus across their Arctic ranges, including the extirpation of the Northwest Atlantic population. While no evidence of a trend exists, recent estimates of population size in some areas of the range of the Central-Low Arctic population are higher than in the past. They require large areas of shallow water (80 m or less) with bottom substrates that support a productive bivalve community, the reliable presence of open water over feeding areas, and suitable ice or land nearby upon which to haul out. rosmarus). In April 2006, COSEWIC included both populations in a single designatable unit for Atlantic Walrus in Available population estimates for extant Atlantic Walrus populations and stocks in Canada are summarized in Table 1 and detailed in Appendix 1 The total estimated abundance of Walrus in Canada from the studies in Table 1 is ca. Just prior to parturition, pregnant females separate from the herd and give birth to their offspring alone on pack ice. The Atlantic Walrus ranged historically from the central Canadian Arctic east to the Kara Sea, north to Svalbard and south to Nova Scotia. Life history and reproduction. The walrus is easily recognised by its sheer size and magnificent tusks. The tusks are used for keeping breathing holes in the ice open, for fighting and for helping the walruses haul themselves out of the water on to an ice floe. Atlantic Walrus. Scientists suggest a third subspecies (O.r. Walrus migrate with the moving ice floes, but never venture far from the coast as they feed in shallow waters. However, this might not be an important potential threat to a re-established walrus population in southeastern Canada. The Atlantic Walrus in Canada was originally treated by COSEWIC as two separate populations: Eastern Arctic population (Not at Risk in April 1987 and May 2000) and Northwest Atlantic population (Extirpated in April 1987 and May 2000). Climatic changes may expose Walruses to greater hunting pressure and alter trophic dynamics. 11 Atlantic walrus population status 27 Pacific walrus population status 34 Management regulations 35 Canada 37 Denmark (Greenland) 39 Norway (Svalbard) 39 Russia 41 United States (Alaska) 46 International agreements 50 Threats to walrus conservation 69 Knowledge gaps and research needs 77 Conservation and management recommendations 82 References COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Atlantic Walrus Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, High Arctic population, Central-Low Arctic population and Nova Scotia-Newfoundland-Gulf of St. Lawrence population in Canada, COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Atlantic Walrus Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus High Arctic population Central-Low Arctic population Nova Scotia-Newfoundland-Gulf of St. Lawrence population in Canada, Atlantic Walrus - High Arctic and Central-Low Arctic Populations: Consultations on listing under the, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) publications. It is the only member of the family Odobenidae, the name of which comes from the Greek words for "tooth" and "walks," referring to walruses using their tusks to help haul themselves onto the ice. WWF advises on the risks and engages communities and governments in discussions about best practices for shipping and marine spatial planning. A WWF study found that oil spills on ice are virtually impossible to clean up. Walruses are circumpolar, but they are concentrated in geographically separated areas, with little or no chance of interbreeding. Several are shared by Canada and Greenland, and Norway and Russia share the Svalbard-Franz Josef Land population. 11 Atlantic walrus population status 27 Pacific walrus population status 34 Management regulations 35 Canada 37 Denmark (Greenland) 39 Norway (Svalbard) 39 Russia 41 United States (Alaska) 46 International agreements 50 Threats to walrus conservation 69 Knowledge gaps and research needs 77 Conservation and management recommendations 82 References site by biome creative. Senior specialist, Arctic species & ecosystems. In 2017 the population was reassessed by COSEWIC as a species of Special Concern, but was split into High Arctic and Central-Low Arctic populations. Current threats from industrial activities, including shipping related disturbance, are low but may increase rapidly within the decade in some areas. Sci. Proceedings of the Pre-COSEWIC Peer Review Meeting for Atlantic Walrus (, DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada). Several populations of Atlantic walrus occur in Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, and eastern Russia while the Pacific walrus is represented by a single stock … divergens) and Atlantic walrus (O.r. Around 1850, a species of walrus living off the coast of Canada’s Atlantic provinces went extinct, in large part due to hunting. There are no estimates available on the number of Walrus in Canada. and can be as long as 3.2 meters (10.5 feet), according to the Animal Diversity Web (ADW), a database maintained by the Museum of Zoology at the University of Michigan. Scientific name: Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus Their most remarkable features are the long tusks which are surrounded by a mat of stiff bristles. 2002. The majority of the population of the Pacific walrus spends its summers north of the Bering Strait in the Chukchi Sea of the Arctic Ocean along the northern coast of eastern Siberia, around Wrangel Island, in the Beaufort Sea along the northern shore of Alaska south to Unimak Island, and in the waters between those locations. The historically abundant population in sout… The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is a pinniped, or fin-footed mammal. Distribution and Population. Unfortunately, the Pacific walrus population is once again in decline—with just 129,000 animals left. Pacific walrus numbers reached record-low numbers in the early 1960s, but rebounded by the 1980s following significant conservation efforts. In … Newborns are 120 cm long and 55 kg; males can grow to 315 cm (1100 kg) and females to 277 cm (800 kg). These “haulouts” of up to 35,000 individuals can be deadly, particularly for walrus calves that are crushed in stampedes provoked by disturbances. Illustration by Jeffrey C. Domm. Walruses give birth in May. Aerial surveys in August 2009 yielded best estimates 2,481 total Walruses in the High Arctic population. Advis. The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on Earth, and the world is already feeling the effects. There are approximately 200,000 Pacific walruses and some 20.000–30,000 Atlantic walrus. The ICUN classifies the walrus as "Vulnerable", a current population … DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada). The Atlantic walrus was hunted to near extinction for its ivory, meat and blubber from the 17th to the 19th century. The purpose of this Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) is to identify the objectives and requirements for the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) fishery in the Nunavut Settlement Area, and the management measures that will be used to achieve these objectives. Accurate data on walrus abundance is not available but the most recent rough population estimates have been 22,500 Atlantic walruses (6,000 in Norway and Russia, 12,000 in Canada and 4,500 in Greenland), and a minimum of 200,000 Pacific walruses in eastern Russia and the United States. The Atlantic walrus was hunted to near extinction for its ivory, … Stock Status Rep. E5–17, 18, 19, 20: 19 pp. Building a future in which people live in harmony with nature. 2,500 in the High Arctic population (DU1), ca. They can swim to a depth of around 100m to feed on molluscs and other invertebrates, but on average do not go much deeper than 20-30m. Their skin is covered by a thin layer of small coarse hairs. WWF has produced the first-ever report on the circumpolar conservation status of walrus. Limited numbers of walrus are hunted in the United States, Canada, Greenland, and Russia. 21,400 animals, with ca. Smaller numbers of males summer in the Gulf of Anadyr on the southern coast of the Siberian Chukchi Peninsula, and in Bristol Bay off the southern coast of Alaska, west of the Alaska Peninsula. Atlantic Walrus. Walruses depend on sea ice as a platform for feeding and resting, and a warming Arctic is disrupting their normal patterns. Six extant populations are recognized based their genetic interchange and other factors such as geographical separation. The least cost path of travel between the northern distribution limit of the high-Arctic Atlantic walrus population and the entrance to Lady Franklin Bay is approximately 255 km. 2008). MELANIE LANCASTER and TOM ARNBOM look at conservation actions to safeguard walruses from threats to their survival. Hunting in the 17th and 18th centuries (for meat, oil and hides) was the cause of extirpation of the Northwest Atlantic population. 18,900 in the Central-Low Arctic population (DU2), and zero in the Nova Scotia-Newfoundland-Gulf of … Population number According to IUCN, the overall population of walrus is likely greater than 225,000 individuals, comprising of about 25,000 Atlantic walruses and 200,000 Pacific walruses. Aerial surveys in August 2009 yielded best estimates 2,481 total Walruses in the High Arctic population. A major threat to the Pacific walrus is oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Chukchi and Bering seas. By 1928, commercial harvesting of walrus was banned in Canada by the Walrus Protection Regulations . Region: Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic Ocean. According to IUCN, the overall population of walrus is likely greater than 225,000 individuals, comprising of about 25,000 Atlantic walruses and 200,000 Pacific walruses. A walrus moves its snout through bottom sediment to find food. 1992). This document also serves to communicate the basic information on the fishery and its management to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) staff, legislated co-management boards, Hunters and Trappers Associations (HTOs), R… There are approximately 200,000 Pacific walruses and some 20.000–30,000 Atlantic walrus. The recovery of the Atlantic walrus (Northwest Atlantic population) in Canada is neither technically nor biologically feasible at this time by human assisted means. The Atlantic Walrus, Odobenus is one of two extant subspecies, the other being the Pacific Walrus. There are 2 populations of walrus: the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus). Prolonged or repeated disturbances may cause Walruses to abandon their haul out sites. The population structure of the Atlantic walrus, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, was studied using 11 polymorphic microsatellites and restriction fragment length polymorphism detected in the NADH-dehydrogenase ND1, ND2 and ND3/4 segments in mtDNA. Walrus hunting in Franz Josef Land first became a significant mortality factor around 1900 (Gjertz et al. The population structure of the Atlantic walrus, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus , was studied using 11 polymorphic microsatellites and restriction fragment length polymorphism detected in the NADH‐dehydrogenase ND1, ND2 and ND3/4 segments in mtDNA.A total of 105 walrus samples were analysed from northwest (NW) Greenland, east (E) Greenland, Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land. Increasing demand for Greenlandic resources means ship traffic is likely to grow significantly over the next few decades. They have hunted them for their meat, skin, blubber, tusks and bones. Atlantic Walrus Population Visible From Space - 24/08/2011 The WWF and Marine Mammals Council have received and interpreted the first space images of an Atlantic walrus rookery after the arbitration court's decision to bind Roscosmos to lift the restriction imposed for ScanEx RDC on space imagery at resolutions better than 2 metres. To find out if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' website. Top. Just prior to parturition, pregnant females separate from the herd and give birth to their offspring alone on pack ice.