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Melting sea ice forces walruses ashore in Alaska

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 10:05 AM
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Melting sea ice forces walruses ashore in Alaska
Source: Associated Press

Melting sea ice forces walruses ashore in Alaska
AP


Walrus AP This Sept. 7, 2010 picture provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows a walrus calf looking out from

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Ap Science Writer Mon Sep 13, 6:12 pm ET

WASHINGTON Tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska because the sea ice they normally rest on has melted.

Federal scientists say this massive move to shore by walruses is unusual in the United States. But it has happened at least twice before, in 2007 and 2009. In those years Arctic sea ice also was at or near record low levels.

The population of walruses stretches "for one mile or more. This is just packed shoulder-to-shoulder," U.S. Geological Survey biologist Anthony Fischbach said in a telephone interview from Alaska. He estimated their number at tens of thousands.

Scientists with two federal agencies are most concerned about the one-ton female walruses stampeding and crushing each other and their smaller calves near Point Lay, Alaska, on the Chukchi Sea. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to change airplane flight patterns to avoid spooking the animals. Officials have also asked locals to be judicious about hunting, said agency spokesman Bruce Woods.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100913/ap_on_sc/us_sci_wal...
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 11:30 AM
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