Extinction: It’s not just for Polar Bears anymore.
September 27, 2010
An accelerating rate of species extinction isn’t just all part of mother natures plan. It’s an expected result of climate change. With changes in the arctic happening faster than any other place on earth, polar species are among those most at risk. Case in point: The Pacific Walrus.
NPR ran a story on this today, quoting USGS biologist Anthony Fishbach:
“I’m surprised by one thing,” he says. “Essentially all the animals here are adult females.” You’d expect to see about one in three with newborn yearling calves, he says. The vast majority of walruses in the Chukchi each summer are females who fatten up on clams that populate the seafloor. They need a lot of protein to nurse their young. This time of year, they should be foraging from the sea ice floating over the productive waters of the continental shelf. Instead, they’re stuck on land. “I only see a small number of yearling calves,” Fischbach says. “That makes me wonder what’s happening with the calves.”
The video at 6:51 with the walrus stampede is shown as “Video: US Geological Survey” but it actually is by Fredrik Blomqvist (not affiliated with USGS) taken Cape Schmidt, Russia, 4 September 2009. He also is the one who took the video with Geoff York (WWF) at 7:54 (also taken at Cape Schmidt last year).