Saturday, October 13, 2007

First It's The Polar Bears . . . .

Now, Warming Alters Walrus Behavior

The LA Times reports:
Thousands of walruses have appeared on Alaska's northwestern coast in what conservationists say is a dramatic consequence of global warming melting Arctic Sea ice.

The animals, especially breeding females, are usually found on the Arctic ice pack in summer and fall. But the lowest summer ice cap on record put sea ice far north of the outer continental shelf, the shallow, life-rich area beneath the Bering and Chukchi seas.

Walruses feed on clams, snails and other bottom dwellers. Given the choice between an ice platform above water deeper than their 630-foot diving range or the shore, many walruses chose Alaska's rocky beaches.

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