Another Large Walrus Haulout Spotted on a Beach Near Point Lay in the Chuckchi Sea
Thousands of Pacific Walruses are hauling out on a remote barrier island in the Chukchi Sea, near Point Lay. The walruses were spotted by NOAA scientists participating in an aerial survey. Scientists estimate that back on September 12th the population at the haulout contained as many as 4-thousand animals. The estimate from September 27th was 10-thousand animals. In a prepared statement a marine mammal scientists with NOAA Fisheries labeled large walrus haulouts along the coast in the northeastern Chukchi Sea are a relatively new phenomenon. The first documented large beach haulout in the region was recorded in 2007. Back in 2011, scientists estimated that as many as 30-thousand walruses were hauled out along one kilometer of beach near Point Lay. It’s believed the walrus are using the beach as a haulout due to the loss of ice in the offshore areas.