Biggest Walrus Gathering Recorded as Sea Ice Shrinks
More than 35,000 of the marine mammals have congregated in Alaska.
Scientists have photographed the largest gathering of Pacific walruses ever recorded, on a beach in northern Alaska, blaming climate change for the estimated 35,000 females and calves huddled beside the Chukchi Sea (map).
Federal biologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) photographed the gathering, known as a haul-out, north of the village of Point Lay over the weekend.
It's hardly the first big walrus gathering to be documented, a fact noted by climate change skeptics. But scientists say the size of the gatherings are growing as climate change melts Arctic sea ice, depriving walruses of their sunning platforms of choice.
"The walruses are hauling out on land in a spectacle that has become all too common in