Climate Alarmists rush to judgment on dead walruses, ignore other possibilities

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge - Dead walruses litter the beach Thursday, September 17, 2009, on the shore of Icy Cape - Image: Tony Fischbach of the U.S. Geological Survey and distributed via The Associated Press

All over the web today, there’s the theme of: “dead walrus = caused by climate change”. On the Climate Progress blog they have this picture of the dead walruses (seen at left) which have been circulated by the Associated Press. I found the source photo on the Alaskan Daily News (ADN) here.

While uncredited on Climate Progress, the photo appears to have been taken from an airplane or helicopter by Tony Fischbach of the  U.S. Geological Survey and distributed via The Associated Press.

In the ADN news article two things stand out:

1- The USFWS official quoted in the article,  says that he doesn’t know the cause of the deaths:

“It’s just too early to say until we can get someone on the ground,” Woods said.

They report the dead walruses appeared to be mostly new calves or yearlings. However, neither the age of the dead walruses nor the cause of death is known, said Bruce Woods, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

2- The AP reporter, Dan Joling,  gives a platform to somebody who also isn’t on the ground, or even Alaska but works in San Francisco, who assigns climate change as the blame:

Shaye Wolf, spokeswoman for the Center for Biological Diversity, said the walrus deaths were alarming.

“It provides another indicator that climate change is taking a brutal toll on the Arctic,” she said.

This isn’t the first time AP writer Jolin has had a story angle downplayed by Brice Woods. The other poster child for Arctic climate change, the polar bear was part of a 2006 AP story where woods also downplayed the significance.

Before I say anything further, let me point out that I’m no expert on Alaskan wildlife. That being said, neither is Joe Romm and many of the other bloggers who repeated the AP story. So, I’m no more qualified to comment than any of them are. But since they’ve advanced a theory, I wish to do so also. I want to draw your attention to something curious in the Fischbach photograph that many websites used, but made no commentary on outside of the “dead walrus = caused by climate change” script.

Expand the photo above. Note that every walrus has what appears to be blood on it. I counted seven in the photo, each having a one or more red spots that seem to be bloody in origin. I can’t tell if the heads and tusks are on them carcasses either. Maybe somebody who knows what a dead beach walrus is supposed to look like can tell better? Hold onto that thought for a bit.

One of the theories from the “dead walrus = caused by climate change” theme is “Retreating sea ice might have taken away some of the platforms walrus use to hunt and rest, pushing to walrus to shore.”

Here’s a summary on the walrus from the University of Michigan:

Walruses prefer to inhabit areas with ice floes in the shallower regions near the coasts of Arctic waterways. Their seasonal migration patterns coincide with the changes in the ice. In the winter, walruses move south as the Arctic ice expands, and in the summer they retreat north as the ice recedes. This migration can cover distances of 3000 km. Individuals concentrate where the ice is relatively thin and dispersed in the winter. In the summer time, bulls may use isolated coastal beaches and rocky islets. Cows and young prefer to stay on ice floes in all seasons (Nowak 1991, Parker 1990).

And so says the theory, because they were pushed to shore, they were trampled by a stampede. No other cause is considered in this recent blast of news stories.

A stampede can be triggered by a polar bear, a plane or other perceived threat to the herd. That’s certainly possible. It has happened before according to this report from the Seattle Times in 2007:

Walruses are vulnerable to stampedes when they gather in such large numbers. The appearance of a polar bear, a hunter or a low-flying airplane can send them rushing to the water.

Sure enough, scientists received reports of hundreds and hundreds of walruses dead of internal injuries suffered in stampedes. Many of the youngest and weakest animals, mostly calves born in the spring, were crushed.

Biologist Anatoly Kochnev of Russia’s Pacific Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography estimated 3,000 to 4,000 walruses out of population of perhaps 200,000 died, or two or three times the usual number on shoreline haulouts.

He said the animals only started appearing on shore for extended periods in the late 1990s, after the sea ice receded.

“The reason is the global warming,” Kochnev said.

Here’s the article photo that shows a trampled walrus:

This photo provided by Pacific Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography shows a dead walrus, foreground, after a stampede on Cape Vankarem, Russia in March, 2007.

Enlarge this photoANATOLY A. KOCHNEV / AP

This photo provided by Pacific Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography shows a dead walrus, foreground, after a stampede on Cape Vankarem, Russia in March, 2007.

Here’s another photo and story from the same time period, from Physorg.com

Headless Walruses Alarm Alaska Officials

August 16th, 2007 By MARY PEMBERTON, Associated Press Writer

Headless Walruses Alarm Alaska Officials (AP) A dead walrus without its ivory tusks lay washed up on a beach of Norton sound off the coast of Nome, Alaska on Wednesday Aug. 15, 2007. The larger than normal number of walrus carcasses washing up on the beaches of Norton Sound has prompted an investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (AP Photo/Diana Haecker)

(AP) — An unusually high number of walrus carcasses missing their heads and ivory tusks have washed up on beaches this summer, alarming wildlife officials.

###

No mention of “global warming” in that story. It also didn’t get much coverage. Old news, poachers at work, move along nothing to see here.

But it brings up an interesting question. In the Fischbach photo above that prompted the latest round of “dead walrus = caused by climate change” stories, we have seven of seven carcasses apparently with blood on them. Many of them appear to have blood only at one end. In the 2007 Kochnev dead walrus photo above, attributed to trampling, we don’t see any blood as would be expected by a trampling, which usually causes death by internal injuries and traumatic asphyxiation.

In the paper on traumatic asphyxiation, they don’t attribute much to blunt force injuries, and there’s no mention of blood. True, its about humans, but humans are mammals with lungs also and I can’t find any papers on walrus tramplings. I’d venture it to be undocumented.

I suppose it is possible that some blood might be seen in a mass trampling of walrii, but in seven out of seven carcasses?

Another possible explanation that fits the blood evidence in the Fischbach photo might be illegal poaching for tusks. With the walrus on the beach and within easy reach of anyone with a rifle, they’d make easy targets, but that seems to not to be in the realm of possibilities for our current news writers and bloggers.

Here’s an article that talks about the walrus in depth and notes the poaching issue:

Although both the United States and Russia have prohibited hunting except by native peoples, some conservationists contend that this “subsistence” hunting is now primarily commercial. Poaching has increased since an international moratorium on international trade of elephant ivory was enacted (walrus ivory is a good substitute for many purposes). Between poaching and the legal killing of 10,000-15,000 walruses in the eastern and western Arctic each year, the population of all walruses is likely to decrease greatly.

Now again I’m no expert on Alaskan wildlife but in the current news context, why isn’t anyone mentioning the poaching issue at all?

The International Whaling Ban was put into effect in 1986. This too put a big crimp on the illicit world market for ivory, driving the price up.

Since then there’s been quite a bit of walrus poaching for ivory.

In 1992, the CBS Evening News did a report on Walrus poaching:

(Studio: Dan Rather) Report introduced.

(Washington: Rita Braver) Walrus poaching ring in Alaska featured; excerpt shown of poaching videotaped by undercover United States Fish and Wildlife agent. [Fish and Wildlife Service director, John TURNER - talks about illegal ivory trading.] Details given, videotape excerpt shown of bogus trading post sting operation by United States Fish and Wildlife agents. [Special agent Adam O'HARA - comments on poachers.]

Here’s a prosecution in the news in 2004:

Men accused of shooting animals to sell tusks – without using the rest of them

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FAIRBANKS – Five Gambell men are accused of poaching walruses in the Bering Sea to sell the tusks. http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/080804/sta_poaching.shtml

An here’s a recent investigative report that has been turned into a book.  “Animal Investigators: How the World’s First Wildlife Forensics Lab Is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species”

Excerpts:

At a recent meeting, leaders of the Alaska Native walrus hunting community had urged him to investigate illegal walrus hunting.  While most Alaskan Natives scorned “headhunting,” —killing a walrus simply for its ivory tusks—Crane could see numerous examples from the seat of his plane.  Local residents typically blamed the Russian villages on the other side of the Bering Strait.  They claimed time and waves brought the dead animals to Alaska and that local Inuit hunters took the tusks – the only part that could be salvaged from the decomposing bodies.

Had the animals died naturally and then had their heads cut off?  Or had they been killed for their tusks?  Did Russian bullets kill the animals?  Had Alaskans?  The situation had been going on for years, and it was time to put an end to it.  Crane needed definitive answers.

Normally, Crane would have sent the items to the lab for analysis.  This time, the sheer size and number of the bodies forced a different approach.  A team of forensic scientists, composed of FWS Lab Director Ken Goddard, Deputy Director Edgard (Ed) Espinoza, and veterinary medical examiner Richard (Dick) Stroud, would go to the scene.

Like the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Animal Investigators spotted dead walrus from the air. Then they went onto the beach to give the full CSI treatment.

Photo from the book - spotting dead walrus along the beach

Photo from the book - spotting dead walrus along the Alaskan coast - click for large image

But what if Animal Investigators had simply shrugged their shoulders and said “eh, global warming”?

We know the Arctic has had warm spells before, such as occurred in 1922.

November 2nd, 1922. Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.

The walrus apparently did OK then, as it has through millenia before man. Why all of the sudden then is the main cause of walrus deaths attributed to “global warming”. Is it reporting bias, like we’ve seen with extreme weather events now viewed by satellite and Doppler radar that would have gone unnoticed in the past? Given that we now have broad eyes and ears in the Arctic, are we simply more attuned than 100 years ago? Id say that is a factor.

Bu also, why when given a news photo showing seven apparently bloody walrus carcasses has nobody raised the possibility of poaching?

Nobody, including me, wants to see our Alaskan wildlife die or be killed through greed, stupidity, or carelessness. But before we go slapping on that catch all label of “global warming did it”, even before the primary wildlife investigators of this weeks event get a chance to get on the ground and determine the cause, we owe it to the animals and to ourselves to look at all the possibilities and to wait to determine the true cause before we go laying blame.

Otherwise, walrus poaching might just get a free pass under the guise of “global warming did it”.

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134 Responses to Climate Alarmists rush to judgment on dead walruses, ignore other possibilities

  1. pwl says:

    One can easily see an animal killed by the “weather” but how does an abstract mathematically human concept that is an analysis of long term “weather” known as “climate” kill an animal?

    Very strange.

  2. pwl says:

    It’s a clear case of it’s the weather (or other factor) not climate that killed the beastie.

  3. pwl says:

    Animals can be killed by the weather just like humans can be but no animals or humans have ever been killed by the “climate”! The “climate” exists in scientific papers and abstract mathematical statistical concepts. It takes real things to kill real things, like too much water or too little water – and that’s weather not climate!

    It’s weather not climate!!! [:|]

  4. Ron de Haan says:

    A stampede is the most viable cause.
    Thanks for debunking the climate cause which is absolutely BS (Bad Science).

  5. deadwood says:

    An interesting theory. I await the final report from wildlife biologists in the field. Unless they are told not to go to the site since the “correct” reason has already been divined by the activists in SF.

  6. Ron de Haan says:

    See also the article about the the Center of Biodiversity
    Sep 18, 2009
    Center for Biodiversity Release Another Embarrassment
    http://www.icecap.us right column, second article.

  7. wws says:

    Pretty ironic if it turns out to be the animal researchers plane which caused the stampede that killed those animals.

    On the other hand, that may have been the plan from the start.

  8. carlbrannen says:

    The mass deaths are probably caused by a lack of single payer health care.

  9. Kaboom says:

    You have to cogently analyse the issues here, folks.

    The walri normally splash around in amongst the sea-ice. They hunt cute little baby seals on the sea-ice.

    An immediate consequence of profligate carbon pollution is the scientifically verified summer sea-ice reduction – despite all the crowing about sea-ice extent increasing, it has been scientifically proven that 2009 has the third lowest ever (since records began!) Arctic sea-ice extent.

    As a direct result of this, all of the walri (who formerly played around on the sea-ice) now have to play around on dry land, which isn’t melting away between their feet – ahh, sorry, flippers.

    Consequence – many more thousands of walri in a given area. A stampede can be caused by something as simple as flying over in a helicopter taking photographs of the marooned walri.

    It is the stampede that cause the walri carnage, directly attributable to Global Warming.

    REPLY: I assume you forgot to add /sarc ?

  10. Nogw says:

    [Aldolfo - snip]

  11. JeffT says:

    Even dear old David Attenborough made the point that the large males can crush the smaller females and calves in a stampede. It was in one of the “Life of Mammals” episodes.
    I would agree with ‘WWS’ as a possibility.
    Anything for the Climate Change religion.

  12. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Really hard to tell, but if you enlarge the photo and look at that middle fore-ground carcass, it looks like there may be tracks approachng and circling the body. It will take investigators on the ground to know for sure, though, and I hope they don’t just bury the story later. If it was poachers, they need to be dealt with.

  13. Hell_Is_Like_Newark says:

    I remember a few years back an incident of dead dolphins washing up onshore. Global warming got the blame initially. Months later, after an investigation it turned out the dolphins died of a highly contagious virus (unrelated to sea temperatures). Dolphins like humans are susceptible to infection / plague.

  14. Dave Dodd says:

    I vote for poachers. I don’t think Global Warming kills with rifle bullets, just yet!!

  15. pwl says:

    “The walri normally splash around in amongst the sea-ice. They hunt cute little baby seals on the sea-ice.”

    That’s an assumption, a huge one. You’re assuming that the “walri” are limited to behaviors or evolved adaptations that only let them survive as you describe.

    Clearly their species has been around through many 10′s of thousands of years Kaboom, which means that they’ve been through much warmer periods (as well as colder periods) – yet they are here!

    Oops that falsifies your inaccurate hypothesis Kaboom. Learn to think it through dude.

  16. pwl says:

    Actually it would have been more fun to have said:

    Kaboom goes your hypothesis!

    [:)]

  17. fishhead says:

    If we assume there are puncture marks causing the bloodied wounds, can we officially say ‘Global warming bites’?

  18. tarpon says:

    Missing heads and ivory tusks … I think that would be what you call a ‘clue’.

    Must be climate change.

    You have to wonder, what if they had Obamacare? Oh the horror of Walruses without health insurance coverage.

    I suggest we demand facts.

  19. rbateman says:

    And sometimes sick animals drive themselves up on the beach to die.
    And here I thought that in this country, man is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
    There’s a term for that.

  20. JLKrueger says:

    The blood on the animals was the first thing I noticed without even reading the rest of the post. My first gut reaction was poachers…again without reading. After reading the rest of the post, I’m more convinced that the deaths are human-caused, but that’s only going from one picture. AGW doesn’t figure in at all. The “A” for certain, but more likely ABH (Anthropogenic Bullet Hole).

    I would have thought that if taken from a helicopter, they would have put down and taken better pictures. A fixed-wing aircraft would be less likely to do so.

  21. Jeff Green says:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22260892/

    3000 walruses die in stampedes. The interesting part is because of ice retreating sooner, the walruses are congregating on land in very large numbers. From this article 40,000 walruses gathered in one spotl THis article comes from 2007 describing the Russian side of the artic in the Chukchi area. The climate has changed in the artic, melting the ice sooner taking away a place for the walruses to hunt from.

  22. D. King says:

    Here is what they eat and the depth at which they find it.
    So, Ice or no ice, they’re quite adaptable.

    http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/Walrus/dietwal.html

  23. cogito says:

    Interestingly, the blood spots all seem to point to the same direction, as if the animals were shot from the spotter plane which took the photograph or from a nearby hill overlooking the scene. Also, it’s more than unlikely that if they were crushed in a stampede bleeding would be seen in spots at the heads while the heads seemingly are not crushed.

  24. Bruce says:

    “The Pacific walrus population is believed to have doubled between about 1960 and 1980 and reached a maximum population of more than 200,000. By 1978, the reproductive rate was declining as the population approached its environmental carrying capacity. The combined annual kill of walruses in Alaska and the former Soviet Union at least doubled during the early 1980s and it is now believed that the population is declining.”

    So … the Walrus were killing themselves off by successfully breeding!

    “The North Atlantic populations did not make a similar recovery. There may only be from 1500 to 2000 walruses in the northeastern Atlantic today. Protection from commercial hunting since the early 1950s has lead to recolonizing the waters around Svalbard . The walrus population in Greenland’s Thule district may be stable but the population off central west Greenland remains depleted.

    Native people in all of the polar regions continue to hunt them with high-powered rifles and motorboats. Many shot walruses are not recovered and those that are recovered are used only for their ivory. Human occupation, whether it is Native villages, industrial sites or military installations, appear to endanger the terrestrial hauling out of the animals and some traditional grounds are no longer available to the walrus.”

    http://www.savethewhales.org/walrus.html

  25. Phil. says:

    Here’s a recent eye-witness account of the huge numbers of walruses that now congregate on the Russian coast:
    Because the summertime ice from the shallow coast up towards the North Pole goes away due to global warming, the walruses’ natural habitat to search for food as well as rest has disappeared. Where the ice is now is much too deep for the walruses to dive down to the bottom and find their favourite nourishment, mussels. This has resulted in the walruses coming ashore. There are now tens of thousands of walruses literally lying on each other where hundreds or none at all were located.

    At sunrise, when we could see the surroundings in the bay where we had anchored, we could hardly believe our eyes. Walruses were everywhere, even high up on the steep hillsides. This is right next to the small Chukchi village, Rirkarpi. Vladi met us when we came ashore. He is the promoter of the polar bear patrols that WWF sponsors. For the most part, the job instead consisted of him protecting the large masses of walruses lying on land.

    With Vladi, we could carefully approach the walruses. We were forced to remove all colourful clothing and backpacks. At a safe distance of about 100 metres, we could photograph this gigantic colony. It was both a fascinating and frightening sight. There were walruses absolutely everywhere. Thousands of walruses in the water pressing and trying to come up on land meant that those already on land had to slowly but surely press themselves further and further up the land. Suddenly, we could see through the binoculars how a big section of the flock about 500 metres away were struck by panic. Those on land did their best to get down into the water. But because it was so steep, the walruses literally slid down. Vladi explained this was the worst with so many gathered in one spot. He said that in the event we had just witnessed, ten or so walruses had probably been squeezed to death.

    http://www.skinnarmo.com/ click on Union flag for English version.

    Note that bears and arctic foxes could have scavenged the bodies which would cause the bleeding, also the carcasses have bird droppings on them and have probably been pecked by gulls.

    http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/data/media/2/gray-whale-carcass-with-polar-bears_6728.jpg

  26. Jeff Green says:

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2008/3041/

    This article shows that the ice is disapearing to different degrees depending on the year. The ice is disapearing due to changing climate and the walruses must adapt. The walruses are dieing in stampedes because they gather on land in greater numbers and more are killed in stampedes.

    A Changing Sea Ice Environment

    The extent of Arctic summer sea ice has decreased sharply over the past several decades (Stroeve and others, 2007). Sea ice is more frequently disappearing from the continental shelf of the Chukchi Sea during summer months. In 6 of the last 9 years, the Chukchi Sea shelf was ice-free—with periods of no ice cover extending from 1 week to as much as 2.5 months. In contrast, there was always some ice over the Chukchi Sea shelf in all of the previous 20 years (1979–98) (passive microwave satellite imagery; Cavalieri and others, 1996 [2006]).

  27. Deborah says:

    I’m looking at this photograph and I noticed that the wounds on the bodies are in different places on each walrus. The one in the foreground has blood in the middle of the body, the next one has blood near the back legs, the next one looks like blood in the head. If it were poachers wouldn’t they all have identical wounds? This does look like trampling and a very recent one to the time of the photograph since there doesn’t appear to be any scavengers around. I’d love to see a high-res version of this photo to be sure.

    REPLY: There may be some post mortem scavenging also. But notice that all of them seem to have a wound at one end. – A

  28. Francis says:

    Biologist Anatoly Kochnev…said the animals only started appearing on shore for extended periods in the late 1990′s, after the sea ice receded.
    “The reason is the global warming,” Kochnev said.

    The logic seems simple. Whatever has forced the walruses into the more vulnerable situation (“on shore for extended periods”) is responsible for the deaths. The means (ivory poaching, hunting by native peoples, polar bear, stampede) doesn’t matter.

    REPLY: And what about 1922? Do they have records of what the walri did then, before global warming entered the argument? Please find those records and post them here so we can agree. – A

  29. Chris Thorne says:

    I live on the seacoast and frequently encounter dead marine mammals along the shore.

    (No walruses here. Harbor seals, sea lions, the occasional elephant seal, a few porpoises, and one whale. Yes, a dead whale smells just as you would imagine one does. Guaranteed to render a romantic seaside stroll instantly unromantic.)

    It’s very frequent for the corpses to be bloodied, either from antemortem or postmortem events.

    Those events include, but are not limited to:

    – Shark bites

    – Boat propeller strikes

    – Wounds from fights with other marine mammals

    – Gunshots

    – Net and rope entanglements

    – Rock and reef trauma

    – Bird scavenger beaks (seabirds and shorebirds alike)

    – Shore animal scavenger teeth

    This list is by no means exhaustive. It leaves out causes of wounding and death not commonly seen in this area, e.g., orca predation.

    The sea is a rough place for any species to have to make a living, and all-cause mortality is high. Walruses die all the time for many different reasons, just as do other marine mammals.

    And a cluster of corpses is by no means a unique or a rare event. It’s actually fairly common. I noted twelve dead sea lions in one small stretch of beach back in July. When both air and water temperatures here were damned cold by historical standards.

  30. MikeC says:

    I doubt that Polar Bears had anything to do with this. I’ve seen a Nat Geo program that included Bears feeding on Walrus, it was a much bloodier sceene. Plus the bears would congregate with all that fresh meat laying around. I vote for this being caused by a stampeede started when a plane full of environmentalists flew over while photographing the arctic.

  31. Smokey says:

    Kaboom (18:15:40): What is being described here is well within the bounds of natural climate variation. There is nothing unusual going on. According to Occam’s Razor, CO2 doesn’t even enter into the mix.

  32. JLKrueger says:

    Phil. (19:48:56) :
    Note that bears and arctic foxes could have scavenged the bodies which would cause the bleeding, also the carcasses have bird droppings on them and have probably been pecked by gulls.

    Note that several carcasses have a single wound in the back of the head. Not the MO of scavengers. If you take the time to look at pictures of live walruses, you will notice that they too often have bird droppings on them. The bird droppings on carcasses tell you nothing about when they occurred.

    The point of the post is criticism of the rush to judgement, excluding any possibility of anything other than “climate change” being the cause of the death. Unless someone gets on the ground and does a forensic investigation, dozens of possibilities exist until proven otherwise.

    It’s absolutely absurd, using that photo, to attribute the deaths to “climate change.”

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    Saw film of the “walrus and seals coming ashore due to global warming” on some new channel or other. Big seal climbing out of the shallow slough onto land, other pictures of dead seals, back to one struggling from “global warming”… spouse asks “Isn’t that a wound on it’s rump?”

    Sure enough, modes sized wound on it’s rump. Looked kind of like propeller cuts…

    Sheer hype.

  34. Garth says:

    If they were calves and yearlings, then I think that makes poaching for ivory pretty unlikely.

  35. AnonyMoose says:

    We kind of like all the data here. Where’s the full, original, photo? Why does the AP have it two days after it was taken but it’s not on the Alaska USGS web site?

  36. Phil. (19:48:56) : “…Note that bears and arctic foxes could have scavenged the bodies which would cause the bleeding, also the carcasses have bird droppings on them and have probably been pecked by gulls…”

    Possibly. I suspect the first scavengers on-site were birds, which like to pick out the eyes as first order of business. The picture isn’t good enough to make any determination of the cause of death or the cause of the blood. Attribution to any cause (especially something as ridiculous as Global Warming) is unwarranted.

  37. Phil. says:

    JLKrueger (20:22:21) :
    Phil. (19:48:56) :
    “Note that bears and arctic foxes could have scavenged the bodies which would cause the bleeding, also the carcasses have bird droppings on them and have probably been pecked by gulls.”

    Note that several carcasses have a single wound in the back of the head. Not the MO of scavengers.

    Well you must have a higher resolution photo than me! I will grant you that it does look like several carcasses are bleeding from the head, this is indeed the MO of scavengers like gulls since they go for the eyes.

  38. Phil. says:

    REPLY: And what about 1922? Do they have records of what the walri did then, before global warming entered the argument?

    I doubt it, it was too damn cold and frozen solid!

    REPLY: History says otherwise: November 2nd, 1922. Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt. – A

  39. Bill Sticker says:

    Walrus deaths = global warming? Without actually going down to the beach and checking the cause of death a la CSI, how do these alarmists know what killed those Walrus from one photo?

    Someone is doing the hundred metres conclusion jump.

  40. michel says:

    Curious, is it not, that some photographs (in this case of warlruses) are admissible as evidence. But others (like of surface stations) are not….

  41. JLKrueger says:

    Phil. (20:44:08) :
    Well you must have a higher resolution photo than me! I will grant you that it does look like several carcasses are bleeding from the head, this is indeed the MO of scavengers like gulls since they go for the eyes.

    Last time I checked, walruses didn’t have eyes in the back of the head. While the photo resolution is sub-optimal, it’s good enough to tell back of the head vs face. You can also tell back from front by examining the entire carcass posture.

    The point of the post lies unrefuted. That being the rush to blame “climate change” without any other evidence and simply ignoring other possibilities.

  42. savethesharks says:

    And their point is???

    Animals die. Whales beach themselves….for unknown reasons.

    It happens.

    Imagine if walruses were trying to figure out what happened to humans after the 1918 Spanish flu.

    How absurd are the climate change zealots going to to become?

    What is next?

    What causes fish kills?

    What causes deja vu?

    Sudden Stratospheric Warmings?

    Climate change.

    IT CHANGES. Deal with it.

    Unfortunately, along the way, organisms suffer.

    No different than 450 million years ago.

    We can only hope to survive the many mass extinctions on the planet, that sharks have.

    Methinks….evidenced from the likes of the Associated Press….we won’t.

    CHRIS
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  43. JLKrueger says:

    Garth (20:25:51) :
    If they were calves and yearlings, then I think that makes poaching for ivory pretty unlikely.

    Fair enough, but it still doesn’t rule out jerks simply killing the animals for fun either.

    Jumping on “climate change” as the cause of death without any other evidence is still absurd.

  44. anna v says:

    While it could be that the small warming observed in the past decades could change the weather patterns and force dangerous solutions on the walrus population, I would not consider a few carcasses part of a natural heating disaster ( considering that when they congregate they go into the thousands), off hand. Particularly as the JAXA plot on the right shows the ice area hitting 2005, so ice is recovering the past two years, and they seek ice.

    Let us also not forget that warming and cooling are natural cycles so even if the attribution to warming remains, there is no proof that any human endeavor could make a difference to these deaths, which should be treated as a statistical datum.

  45. mr.artday says:

    Do dead animals bleed from small wounds?

  46. Phil. says:

    Phil. (20:47:35) :
    REPLY: And what about 1922? Do they have records of what the walri did then, before global warming entered the argument?

    “I doubt it, it was too damn cold and frozen solid!”

    REPLY: History says otherwise: November 2nd, 1922. Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt. – A

    Actually history’s on my side, the walruses live in the vicinity of Wrangel Island. As you’ll see below Wrangel Island was cut off from the outside world by ice for the whole of 1922. Just because it was warmer in one part of the Arctic (off Norway) doesn’t mean it was warmer everywhere.
    http://litsite.alaska.edu/aktraditions/wrangell.html

    REPLY: Nice setup job Phil. But I learned something new today.
    So what about the Walri in Svalbard in 1922? what did they do? Were they frozen up on the ice or on the beach? Did nature crush a few in a beach stampede or did some hunters take a few?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/suffolk/content/articles/2009/05/22/svalbard_diary_day_eight_feature.shtml
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/wallpaper/img/2009/04/apr09wallpaper-16_1280.jpg

    We could go round and round with this argument. Point is, you can’t pin what happened or didn’t happen to walri in 1922 to man made global warming any more than you can today.

    – Anthony

  47. Bill McClure says:

    Global warming. Bah humbug. Anyone remember the frogs with three hind legs. Everyone was sure it was a pesticide,some horrible chemicial. Turns out after some good research it was a pasasite. So much for a well informaed press. I wish I had the names of the people who were so sure it was a chemicial and raced to get a sexy story to the press.

  48. John F. Hultquist says:

    That parts of the Arctic Ocean ice cover melt in the NH summer is not news. Further, if the Russian ice-breakers would stop smashing through it the whole thing would re-freeze more quickly. Where are the WWF lawyers when they are needed?

    Phil needs to study the history of the Arctic Ocean ice – said history did not begin 30 years ago.

    The next big scare, I think, will be lemmings. Global warming gives them vibes and they tend to scamper over each other and jump off of cliffs.

  49. L says:

    Read it all, then bet the farm on poaching, or simply humans killing for the fun of it.

  50. Hank Hancock says:

    I took the time to google all the images I could find on walruses killed in stampedes. None of the carcasses in any of the photographs I could find were bloody. If you look at the top photograph in this story, all seven animals are bloody on the same end. Looking at the next photograph down, supposedly taken immediately after a stampede, there is no blood. It looks to me like these animals died of high velocity lead poisoning (shot).

  51. Deborah says:

    Just doing a little Googling on the subject of walrus and their habits and habitats and so far everything that comes up mentions that walrus spend winter months on the ice. But they spend the summers on rocky beaches. Doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with “climate change”.
    And on that photo, there are many of the wounds on the same part of each body, but two have other blood spots at different sites on the body. I’ve been tinkering a bit with the photo here (would still love a hi-res but I haven’t found one yet) and one of the carcasses has a large blood spot on the right side of the body by its hind legs(flippers).
    I’m sort of leaning toward the theory of a stampede caused by the photographer’s plane swooping low for a good camera angle.
    Loved that article from 1922, too. They didn’t lament the lack of ice but rather were excited at the increased ability to explore more of what they could never before reach. They wanted to see what they could find. I like that.

  52. I have shot and seen animals shot all my life, these animals were in all likelihood shot with a high calibre rifle. Notice all but the 2 foreground carcasses clearly show head shots and in roughly the same location.

    The one closest to the photographer is interesting, I see at least two full pass-through wounds which lead my to suspect a high powered rifle. Because the blood stains are on top of the bodies, this suggests wounds inflicted while the animal was alive ( hence the bleed outs from the belly wounds in the closest animals) so scavenger wounds are out.

    That is my CSI for today and of course is just am pinion based on the one photograph. lets see if the real story ever comes out of Fish and Wildlife.

    On the other hand….
    (sarc)

    So perhaps it was so hot due to AGW in the Arctic that a Walrus went “postal” and killed his/her co-workers/herd with a tusk sharpened by rubbing it on the rocks. All in a effort to ease the food and Ice resource depletion that is pressuring the planet and threatening to destroy the entire species? Now that is a AGW TV Special Plot!

    Wow being an AGW alarmist is easy! Just make anything up!
    (/sarc)

  53. Robert E. Phelan says:

    I seem to recall that dead bodies do not bleed. After the heart stops, blood tends to pool in the lowest region of the corpse. It’s really hard to see much detail in those photos, but I suspect there is too much blood visible to be the result of post-mortem wounds. I’m no expert on this however, and maybe some one with some medical background could post some facts for us rather than speculation….

  54. austin says:

    Looks like a hunt to me.

    I see footprints leading to each of the carcasses in the lead picture. There are also tireprints from a 4-wheeler and maybe a trailer in the lower left hand area and a straight line like something was drug in the upper part of the picture.

    Those walruses were just killed – there are no birds or other wildlife feeding on them and the blood is still red.

    One walrus is on its back – it had to have been rolled that way. And its bloody on its body, unlike the others. It must have been shot several times, then rolled into a position where the hunters had to roll it over to get to it.

    Also, all the walruses are the same size. Might they all be bulls?

  55. Phil. says:

    REPLY: Nice setup job Phil. But I learned something new today.

    No set up Anthony, you brought up 1922 yourself.

    So what about the Walri in Svalbard in 1922? what did they do? Were they frozen up on the ice or on the beach? Did nature crish a few in a beach stampede or did some hunters take a few?

    Hunters probably took a few but not many since they were virtually extinct there by then. That population is currently recovering following being protected by the Norwegian and Russian governments in the 50s.

    We could go round and round with this argument. Point is, you can’t pin what happened or didn’t happen to walri in 1922 to global warming any more than you can today.

    – Anthony

    Although the large herds on land on the Russian coast is a new phenomenon coincident with the loss of ice over shallow water in the summer. Whether that has anything to do with the walrus carcasses referred to above is total speculation.

    REPLY:Russian Coast? Svalbard is Norway. Yes its all total total speculation….as is man made global warming being the cause of any of this. Which is the point of the article. – Anthony

  56. John F. Hultquist says:

    The current Arctic Ocean sea ice extent graph (link on right side of page) now shows the 2009 line (red) crossing the 2005 line (green). I also note, with interest, that in recent years the ice extent has been below the 1979-2000 average (NSIDC). Further, 2007 and 2008 were both quite low in the sequence. Because the average, as meant and calculated in this case, is skewed by the extreme cases – when the recent years are included in the new “average”, which should be done after 2010, the new average will be lower than the old average and then the recent years will not look so anomalous. It may even be that the high ice extent years might seem to be the odd ones.

    In any case, 2007 and other low years will be closer to average then than they are currently. I don’t see a way for the “we are toast” crowd to put a good spin on this so, at best, they will likely try to ignore it or somehow change the rules.

  57. John McDonald says:

    Infection is the number one reason for mass die offs of all species including humans and should therefore be the starting point of any investigation like this.

    I’ve often wondered how much infectious death and destruction is brought to these distant regions by adventurers, researchers, eco-film makers in their bilge, on their shoes, skin, etc. I’m fairly certain it is a lot more than a few acres of oil wells.

  58. savethesharks says:

    Phil if you were a walrus, in this scenario, what would you do?

    Would you duck beneath the ice to avoid the rifle…or would you agree to be interviewed on Al Gore’s sequel movie?

    Or would you just do your walrus thing and who knows how you would turn up?

    I sure don’t…nor do I care…..nor do I care about the fate of these few organisms….in the larger backdrop of science.

    Who gives a **** and why does it have any significance at all?

    Balderdash.

    No. Walrusdash.

    Drop this…for something more grave and important.

    The AP really is reaching for the dregs these days.

    To be expected….

    Chris Malendoski
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  59. Hank Hancock says:

    mr.artday (21:22:35) :

    “Do dead animals bleed from small wounds?”

    The short answer – usually not. When an animal dies, the heart stops and diastolic pressure drops to being equal to atmospheric pressure. Blood pools in the major vessels and some organs at the lower extremities of the body. An animal that receives a superficial cut after death won’t bleed. However, a cut that goes deep enough might release pooled blood if the cut is low enough and of sufficient size and orientation to provide a drain path. On an animal laying horizontal, the cut line would have to be quite low as there isn’t a whole lot of blood in most mammals – somewhere between 4% to 7% of the entire body volume. Above the “pooling” line, the animal won’t bleed.

  60. Phil. says:

    REPLY:Russian Coast? Svalbard is Norway.

    Indeed it is but the large herds are found on the Russian coast (Chukchi sea etc.), the total population around Svalbard is about 1,500 as I recall.

    John F. Hultquist (21:40:35) :
    Phil needs to study the history of the Arctic Ocean ice – said history did not begin 30 years ago.

    Oh I do, I take it you didn’t read the cite I gave about ice in 1922?

    Some interesting fantasizing about the carcasses, tire tracks!

    austin (22:10:33) :
    Looks like a hunt to me.

    I see footprints leading to each of the carcasses in the lead picture. There are also tireprints from a 4-wheeler and maybe a trailer in the lower left hand area and a straight line like something was drug in the upper part of the picture.

    Those walruses were just killed

    At least one high tide earlier I’d say.

  61. Justthinkin says:

    “I seem to recall that dead bodies do not bleed. After the heart stops, blood tends to pool in the lowest region of the corpse. It’s really hard to see much detail in those photos, but I suspect there is too much blood visible to be the result of post-mortem wounds. I’m no expert on this however, and maybe some one with some medical background could post some facts for us rather than speculation….”

    No speculation required,Robert. You are quite correct.Once the heart stops bating,there is ZERO pressure to push the blood anywhere.Gravity takes over,and the blood pools in the lowest areas.Any blood spotting caused by scavenging is strictly due to gravity,and is extremely minute,not even close to the amount shown in the pic. More science classes,and less hollywood BS,folks!

  62. Deborah says:

    I’m wondering something else.
    Could these wounds be puncture wounds from the tusks of the larger bull walrus stampeding toward the water?
    They do use their tusks to haul themselves up and around so would they necessarily be careful where they are stabbing when they are scrambling for the water?

  63. Dave Wendt says:

    They’ve been doing nature programs about ocean mammals for about a half a century now. I used to watch a lot of them before they all decided to become mouthpieces for AGW propaganda. I can’t recall a single one that didn’t prominently feature footage of massively crowded breeding colonies and usually they included segments on pups who didn’t make it for one reason or another. One of Life’s more popular strategies for perpetuating itself is fecundity. Either individuals produce large numbers of young themselves or for species where that isn’t an option they all gather and breed at once, so that at the point of separation from the parent, when the young are most vulnerable, there will be so many running the gauntlet of awaiting predators who show up for these events, that enough survive to produce the next season’s sets of breeding pairs. Species who adopt this breeding strategy are always subject to losing young to reasons which relate to the crowded conditions the strategy demands. I would be seriously dubious of anecdotal reports that these deaths are exceptional.

  64. Garth says:

    “JLKrueger (21:04:15) :

    Fair enough, but it still doesn’t rule out jerks simply killing the animals for fun either.

    Jumping on “climate change” as the cause of death without any other evidence is still absurd.”

    Agree with you absolutely. Why can’t people just say “I don’t know?”

  65. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Since Tony Fischback was on the scene to take the photo and is a walrus expert, I sent him an e-mail to ask for the facts and encourage him to leave a comment here… but he’s out of the office ’till Wednesday. Maybe he’ll respond and give us the straight dope.

  66. Hank Hancock says:

    “I’m wondering something else.
    Could these wounds be puncture wounds from the tusks of the larger bull walrus stampeding toward the water?
    They do use their tusks to haul themselves up and around so would they necessarily be careful where they are stabbing when they are scrambling for the water?” – Deborah (23:03:37)

    I was wondering the same thing myself, which is why I googled for all the photographs I could find of walruses that were killed by stampede. None of the photographs I found showed bloodied carcasses. It seems that the blood didn’t come from tusk wounds or from being crushed. The amount and location of blood rules out predatory death. To kill a walrus requires a large predator capable of eating far more than than the small wounds shown in the photograph. I’m convinced that the animals shown in the photograph were shot.

  67. JLKrueger says:

    Garth (23:45:39) :
    Agree with you absolutely. Why can’t people just say “I don’t know?”

    Well, at least the spokesperson with the USFWS said as much. And that’s the real main point. We don’t know and we’re all guessing based on one low-res photo showing seven dead walruses, not hundreds of dead walruses.

    Looking at other pictures of walruses crushed in stampedes, the beach is churned up around the carcasses (for example the picture in the AP story from 14 December 2007) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22260892/

    That does not appear to be the case in the picture above.

    I’m wondering why there’s no apparent attempt to at least verify the immediate cause of death. It doesn’t even appear from the report that the animals’ ages are certain.

  68. Ron House says:

    I want to know why walrus deaths from unverified causes in an unusual event is urgent reason to build wind farms, when the wind farms themselves cause massive amounts of animal death and suffering on a continuing and predictable basis. See my reasoning for wind farm killings here: http://peacelegacy.org/articles/wind-farms-do-they-kill-birds.

    One is forgiven for wondering if, in their minds the animal deaths simply don’t score any concern at all; and they are interested only in what mileage they think those deaths will bring for their cause. Let’s just watch as (as now seems likely) poaching is found to be the culprit, and we’ll see if the concern from these folk suddenly vanishes. I think we’ll see a litmus test for real versus fake wildlife lovers.

  69. Johnny Honda says:

    Same for the stranded whales: Always mankind is to blame, sometimes the evil “U.S. Army”.
    Stranded whales were observed even by the ancient Greeks, so it’s something total natural.
    This morbid “We are to blame” is so stupid.

  70. LB says:

    It IS AGW, Anthropogenic Gunshot Wound.

  71. Hans Kelp says:

    To Anthony.
    Thanks for putting things straight in a non-alarmist manner. It makes for both interessting and exiting reading when trying to cover a subject based on sober consideration.

    To Bill McClure.
    Could you please refer me to articles about the three legged frog-case. I want to know when the real cause of the frogs deformities were accepted as a scientificly proven fact.

    Thanks.

  72. Allan M says:

    I reckon it’s vampires – caused by global warming! (he-he)

    Why pick on global warming? Propaganda and laziness.

    I’ve heard people use a put-off to young children: “I can’t take you to the park today, ’cause I’ve got a bone in my leg.” The child usually gives up trying. The warmologues probably hope we will too.

  73. Curieux says:

    Look at all the pictures, none of those animals are wearing a mask: It MUST be H1N1 !

  74. Aron says:

    Climate change has become the big cop out. In the documentary U.N Me we see representatives from Sudan blame the deaths of black Christian Sudanese on climate change instead of the Islamist Janjaweed backed by their government. The UN plays along happily because Sudan is in bed with China and al Qaeda, both of whom musnt be offended, and Copenhagen’s Climate treaty needs more hype. Thanks to Al Gore’s lie about Lake Chad we see the Janjaweed murder with impunity. Now climate change is beheading walruses and illegal poachers can run free.

    You don’t need to take responsability for your actions now. Either blame George Bush or global warming, then recieve billions of dollars, a get out of jail free card, then carry on looting, murdering and terrorising. The UN and the looney left will bless your actions and say we must respect it!

  75. Bill Tuttle says:

    “Retreating sea ice might have taken away some of the platforms walrus use to hunt and rest, pushing to walrus to shore.”

    Walrus “hunt” clams and live on the shore very nicely, thank you. They particularly live very nicely on the shore during the *summer* — and it’s still summertime in Alaska.

    I’m not an Alaskan wildlife expert, either, but Sibling Number Three just retired after a twenty-year stint with US Fish and Wildlife in Anchorage. He looked at the photo and said, “They all took head shots. Poachers.”

  76. Manuel says:

    When I hear stories like this one, I feel very tired. That an environmental activist can think of using a photograph like this to promote the idea of climate change, and even worse, that it ends up getting some credit, puts ourselves in the place we deserve. Fortunately we got to name our own species, otherwise we wouldn’t have got the “sapiens” bit.

    Of course, climate kills species (and creates new ones), but you don’t get photos of the killing (or the birth). It simply does not work that way.

  77. David Alan says:

    This is just another attempt by alarmists to spead more ridiculous tripe to gain support for ‘cap and tax’. And frankly, no one is buying it. My profession allows me to communicate with professionals from many backgrounds around the world: banking, insurance, oil and gas, renewable fuels, advertising & not one of the tens of hundreds I speak to believe in global warming or that man is the cause of climate change. NOT ONE ! Its sort of frustrating. I would have thought by now I would run across several. (Well, there was this ex-navy seal now turned consultant, but as it turned out, he only thought so because his wife told him so. I straightened him out. Took an hour, a few beers and a laptop). Or it could just be that some upper-class individuals are too embarrassed to disagree with me. Either way, my whole intent is to involve as many people to talk and write to their political representatives to listen to their concerns. I can only hope that they will. Recently, I started to engage scientists. Mostly geologists and some chemists. Young and working on their thesis’. They are lukewarmers at best. Its understandable, considering their position. The reason I’ve brought all of this up is to cheer on the scientists that dedicate themselves to searching for the truth and those that do, continue to publish their work, so men and women like me, have the ability to share these facts with as many people as possible. I for one believe, that while the fight is not over, the tide has turned. Which is evident in how desperate global alarmists are becoming. Average people are watching. We just need to motivate them do more than sit and think that there is nothing they can do. Because a great many of them think that Govts can and will do what they want and I for one am not goin to allow that to happen. Keep the fact machine running ! -David Alan-

  78. Ron de Haan says:

    Climate Alarmist is a true profession!
    Take the career of Stephan Schneider.

    In 1978 he went bogus on prediction an Ice Age, today he is predicting Thermogeddon.
    http://algorelied.com/?p=2839

    Isn’t it hilarious.

  79. Ron de Haan says:

    From the Alarmism Archive: The coming Ice Age

    The Northern Hemisphere is getting colder.
    Glaciers are growing and with the current cooling rate we will experience ice age conditions within 200 years. Presented by Spock.

  80. Dave says:

    This is one of the problems with our lazy modern media, they ask an activist group like “Center for Biological Diversity”, who named themselves to look like some sort of scientific research group, and then spout what they say as science gospel.

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/action/index.html

  81. Henry chance says:

    They need single payer insurance coverage. This can be aided by putting Artic drillers in jail and taxing crude.
    Climate progress says it is global warming and the canary in the mine. Of course they do this before finding the cause of death.

  82. Bill Illis says:

    The green movement does seem to get away with promoting these slanted stories time and again.

    This incident occurred southwest of Barrow Alaska, where the sea ice melts out by the end of July every year.

    This is the Walrus lives. Their habitat includes only those areas which normally have sea ice for about 9-10 months of the year, close to the coast and near large islands where breeding can occur.

    If it got much colder and the sea ice melted later, they would probably have to move south.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Odobenus_rosmarus_distribution.png

  83. Jim Owen says:

    I haven’t read every comment on this thread, but if someone – anyone – can or has found a single tusk in that photo, I’d be really shocked. I can’t find any. Which translates to — it was poachers, gang. Walrus tusks are too big to miss – they would be obvious even on a dead walrus.

    REPLY:
    Assuming they are adults, that would be correct. As the USFWS spokemans said, we just don’t know yet. – Anthony

  84. Nasif Nahle says:

    But, why walruses could die by climate change? They are homoeothermic animals and their bodies’ temperature is regulated by internal thermal mechanisms. What climate change, specifically, could have been caused their dead? This is absolutely nonsense.

    Walruses are not plants rooted on ground. They can move and change of location whenever they wish.

  85. Phil. says:

    JLKrueger (00:17:22) :
    Garth (23:45:39) :
    Agree with you absolutely. Why can’t people just say “I don’t know?”

    Well, at least the spokesperson with the USFWS said as much. And that’s the real main point. We don’t know and we’re all guessing based on one low-res photo showing seven dead walruses, not hundreds of dead walruses.

    Although the report is of ~200 carcasses.

    Looking at other pictures of walruses crushed in stampedes, the beach is churned up around the carcasses (for example the picture in the AP story from 14 December 2007) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22260892/

    That does not appear to be the case in the picture above.

    But the tide has come in at least once since they died and it would appear that the herd is no longer there.

    I’m wondering why there’s no apparent attempt to at least verify the immediate cause of death. It doesn’t even appear from the report that the animals’ ages are certain.

    The photo was taken from a plane while flying on a survey, a vet was being sent to investigate at the time of the report.

  86. yyzdnl says:

    I read several comments about “new calves or yearlings” not supporting the poaching theory, but the article also sited “neither the age of the dead walruses nor the cause of death is known”. From the lack of perspective in the picture it is hard to tell the size of the animals. If the lack of tusks was used to aid in classifying the bodies as calves or yearlings then the poaching theory has not been disproved.

  87. Phil. says:

    Bill Tuttle (02:25:17) :

    I’m not an Alaskan wildlife expert, either, but Sibling Number Three just retired after a twenty-year stint with US Fish and Wildlife in Anchorage. He looked at the photo and said, “They all took head shots. Poachers.”

    Did you ask him why the poachers would shoot ~200 walrus calves and leave the bodies behind?

  88. Bill Illis says:

    The Barrow Ice Observatory has put up a lot of the data they have been gathering over the years.

    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/snowice/sea-lake-ice/Barrow_observatory.html

    It looks like the sea ice at Barrow (off-shore in the Chukchi sea) broke up on July 11th this year, the latest date it has been since 2000 (when this record began – some of the other records don’t show any particular trend in the ice-break-up date).

    So, the walrus deaths are not due to the ice melting out earlier.

    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/snowice/sea-lake-ice/Brw09/Melt-out.png

  89. JLKrueger says:

    Phil. (08:30:20) :

    Although the report is of ~200 carcasses.

    Yet there is one and only one picture. Surely they could have taken more pictures. Can’t imagine warmists passing on that big a photo op for the sacred cause.

    But the tide has come in at least once since they died and it would appear that the herd is no longer there.

    If that were true it doesn’t explain what appears to be tire tracks in the center of the picture. Nor does it explain the footprints near the carcasses. Nor does it explain the blood which is red in the picture and which does not appear to have been “washed” by the tides. The tides would have washed the sand around the carcasses which, if you look closely, you can see blood in the sand. It doesn’t take long for blood to dry and turn black. Addionally, as has already been pointed out, once the heart stops pumping, the blood pools and thickens in the lower body parts (gravity takes over). The carcasses also do not appear to have shifted from their wallows.

    The photo was taken from a plane while flying on a survey, a vet was being sent to investigate at the time of the report.

    Yes, we all got the plane/helicopter bit. No, the report said they would try to send a vet. It’s now been three days and nary a peep.

    Finally, even the article admits that herds on the Alaska side are generally so much smaller than those on the Russian side that mass crushings are rare since the animals are more dispersed.

  90. savethesharks says:

    Some of our troops are dying each day in Afghanistan, and this gets more airtime.

    Something is bad wrong with that picture.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  91. JLKrueger says:

    Phil. (08:59:02) :

    Did you ask him why the poachers would shoot ~200 walrus calves and leave the bodies behind?

    Perhaps we could ask why you insist on ignoring the USFWS rep who said we can’t determine age or cause of death until we can get someone on the ground

    Oh yeah, it doesn’t fit the Alarmist hysteria to do so.

    We have a single picture with 7 (SEVEN) dead walruses with bloody wounds lying in bloody sand. Nothing more. I’m waiting for the rest of the pictures.

    And don’t try to tell me about the difficulty of getting more than one “shot” off from an airplane. I get more pictures of humans in a single aerial pass in the mountains of Afghanistan, often while under fire than these guys seem to have gotten.

    One would think these intrepid scientists would make more than one pass, drop a little lower and take lots of shots to document a big killoff. No one was shooting at them either.

    Sorry, the script has too many holes.

  92. Francis says:

    Anthony

    The comment (20:05:30) was in response to the article, not the situation.
    There is a pessimistic wing of the AGW community. There’s not going to be enough reduction in CO2 to prevent the loss of all the Arctic summer ice. Given this inevitability, these seven deaths aren’t very important.
    Efforts to stop AGW will continue, in aid of other animals elsewhere, and man.

    It would have been the Atlantic walrus that was affected by 1922′s warmer Gulf current. 81 north, where the ice began above Svalbad is roughly at the northern range of the walrus…as shown in Wikipedia. According to a world atlas, this is well within the continental shelf.
    The pack ice would have been thicker (more multi-year ice) then. So generally there would not have been the current problem of the sea ice receeding past the continental shelf.
    Also, some parts of the range of the Atlantic walrus are outside the reach of the Gulf current.

    P.S……Going further out onto thin ice…in speculations…
    The northern edge of the given range above Svalbad is likely to be the usual edge of the pack ice. Suggesting that if it melts back, the sea floor is still reachable by the walruses.
    And to the question of whether the Svalbad walruses could get to the now-more-northern ice, we have:
    1. an animal that can (in some areas) migrate long distances
    2. an animal that lives on moving sea ice
    3. a range map that shows large areas of open water

  93. Curiousgeorge says:

    I vote for Aliens. Same as the cattle mutilation thingie. ;)

  94. JLKrueger says:

    savethesharks (09:28:25) :
    Some of our troops are dying each day in Afghanistan, and this gets more airtime.

    Well, if you include the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, that statement is 100% accurate…they are, afterall our allies and they take far more casualties than we do…mostly because they are not as armored. A Ford Ranger pickup does not fare as well when under fire as an Up-Armored HumVee.

    Our own, Americans that is, tend to get hit in clumps…an IED here, a suicide vehicle borne IED (SVBIED) there, then days of quiet. Most days aren’t really to bad here, but that also really depends upon where you are. Four of the 34 provinces here account for about 90% of the violence.

    And yet, your observation about what is important is still spot on. The silly things we get worked up over when there are far more serious and immediate concerns to worry about.

  95. John F. Hultquist says:

    Nasif Nahle (08:09:34) :

    I believe the climate change issue is that because of the lack of ice the animals were on land and therefore died in a manner Shaye Wolf called “brutal.” However the comment by Bill Illis (07:09:47) makes this seem irrelevant. Unless an animal dies peacefully while sleeping, death is easily called brutal and we can’t make it otherwise. It gets headlines, though.

    We don’t yet know that the animals were shot. It is worth noting that polar bears became much easier to hunt and kill with rifles, snowmobiles, and airplanes than they were with native technology – and seems to have been why there numbers decreased in some places. That was the problem – now stopped – and it was not global warming.
    Another oddity is that people get trampled and killed at special shopping events, music concerts, soccer games, nightclub fires, and by bulls in Spain – anywhere thousands crowd together it seems a few get hurt or killed. I don’t think walruses (walrii ?) have a special dispensation from this sort of thing.

  96. Phil. says:

    JLKrueger (09:23:50) :
    Phil. (08:30:20) :

    “Although the report is of ~200 carcasses.”

    Yet there is one and only one picture. Surely they could have taken more pictures. Can’t imagine warmists passing on that big a photo op for the sacred cause.

    I’m sure they did but the newspaper would only show one.

    “But the tide has come in at least once since they died and it would appear that the herd is no longer there.”

    If that were true it doesn’t explain what appears to be tire tracks in the center of the picture. Nor does it explain the footprints near the carcasses.

    There aren’t any in the picture I’m looking at.

    Nor does it explain the blood which is red in the picture and which does not appear to have been “washed” by the tides. The tides would have washed the sand around the carcasses which, if you look closely, you can see blood in the sand. It doesn’t take long for blood to dry and turn black. Addionally, as has already been pointed out, once the heart stops pumping, the blood pools and thickens in the lower body parts (gravity takes over). The carcasses also do not appear to have shifted from their wallows.

    The sand has been washed around the bodies, blood won’t turn black in saltwater and will wash blood out of the holes in the carcass.

    “The photo was taken from a plane while flying on a survey, a vet was being sent to investigate at the time of the report.”

    Yes, we all got the plane/helicopter bit. No, the report said they would try to send a vet. It’s now been three days and nary a peep.

    No they said: “We’ve sent up a couple of veterinarians to, hopefully, get on site to where the carcasses were to do some forensics, to try to determine what the cause of death might be”, it’s not like they can just drive up there, the nearest habitation is 50 miles away.

    Finally, even the article admits that herds on the Alaska side are generally so much smaller than those on the Russian side that mass crushings are rare since the animals are more dispersed.

    More dispersed? This is the group in that vicinity a couple of weeks ago, do they look dispersed to you?

    http://images.morris.com/images/juneau/mdControlled/cms/2009/09/18/494526428.jpg

  97. J.Hansford says:

    Those dead walrus have been detusked…. There is even shoe prints around them.

    Looks to me to be hunters. They’ll have to take it up with the indigenous owners of the land.

  98. David Alan says:

    Ron de Haan (05:34:46) :
    Climate Alarmist is a true profession!
    Take the career of Stephan Schneider.
    In 1978 he went bogus on prediction an Ice Age, today he is predicting Thermogeddon.
    http://algorelied.com/?p=2839 Isn’t it hilarious. . . . Thanks for the link Ron. Amazing how a profession like a Climate Alarmist can do so much damage, mediawise, with such little fact and a lot of double speak. Just like Snakeoil Salesmen. Uncanny.

  99. tty says:

    I strongly doubt that these carcasses have been scavenged. I have seen any number of scavenged animals and they don’t look like this. Scavenged animals are dead, they don’t bleed, and Phil, no, all the saltwater in the world won’t turn coagulated blood liquid again. Also scavenging an intact walrus cadaver isn’t easy, they have extremely tough hides. A polar bear could do it, but not a polar fox, and most definitely not a gull or raven. This is the reason such avian scavengers go for the eyes, they don’t have some weird preference for eyes, it’s just that it is the only part of the body they can get at unless the body has been opened by a carnivore.

    Blood may not be completely incompatible with a stampede since it does happen that walruses inadvertently stab each other, but not seven out of seven.

    As for the walruses being dependent on sea ice, I don’t believe it. In Svalbard where they are completely, and effectively, protected they are almost always found on land in summer, even when there is plenty of sea-ice around. Also back in the Viking Period, before they were hunted to extinction, walruses occurred along the Kola coast in northwestern Russia, where there is hardly any sea-ice even in winter.
    Incidentally they were hunted for two reasons: the walrus ivory, and the hides. Walrus leather was the strongest known substance in northern Europe at that time, and the preferred material for ships rigging ropes.

  100. Aylamp says:

    Looks likes there’s been some caribou deaths too. “Climate change made me do it, yer honour!”

    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/rural/story/725368.html

  101. H.R. says:

    The butler did it… in the dining room… with a candlestick.

    Seriously, I hope we get a WUWT update after the “boots on the ground” determine the true cause of death.

  102. Brian in Alaska says:

    A minor correction: its the “Alaska Daily News” not “Alaskan” as it reads in the first paragraph. Or “Alaska Daily Worker” for those who are not fans of its blatant editorial bias.

    And it’s not unheard of for idiots to shoot up a herd just for the ‘fun’ of it, whether it’s walrus or caribou. No meat, or tusks or hides taken, just killing for the thrill. Hell, they’ve even shot several brown bear in the same fashion.

    Finally, the feds could have people on the ground at the site in one day, weather permitting. That beach looks like you could land a bush plane on it, or run some 4-wheelers down from the nearest village. The feds have plenty of helicopters, too.

  103. Aylamp says:

    Brian in Alaska (12:31:33) :

    Here in the Netherlands, we know it better as the Anchorage Daily News!

  104. Dan Murphy says:

    I’ve got to call BS on Phil’s claim that tides have come up and washed away evidence on the ground around the bodies. You’d think he was a teacher in front of a bunch of school kids, able to make unfounded observations without someone speaking up to disagree.

    If you look at the top left of the photo, you can see the edge of the water. Note that for the first 15-20 feet or so from the water’s edge the sand is smooth and compacted, signs that it was covered by water and smoothed by waves recently. Then as you move further away from the beach the character of the sand changes-it is less smooth and compacted. The last high tide may not have reached that high. The nature of the sand changes completely when you reach the body of the first walrus. Here the sand has obviously not been covered by water for weeks, perhaps since the last monthly high tide. If this area had water waves washing over it recently, the sand would be smooth.

    Most of the walruses are up by the rise in the beach which marks the beach’s storm line. The storm line is where all the debris picked up and floating around during the last large storm was washed very high up onto the beach.

    To some extent I agree with Phil about the “tire tracks” some claim to have seen. On close examination the straight dark lines seem to be mostly shadows, and appear to be single short lines, and with the quality of this photograph could be anything. I’m skeptical about the “footprints” too. Might be footprints, might not. Again, the picture quality doesn’t really allow us to tell.

    I think a lot of the speculation and assertions about the details of this picture are pointless, given the quality of the photo released.

    Dan Murphy

  105. Douglas DC says:

    Poachers,period.Unless AGW drove them to kill Waluri….
    I have had training in Biology and have hunted and fished
    over the Western US.This is Poaching….

  106. Nasif Nahle says:

    John F. Hultquist (10:26:09) :

    Another oddity is that people get trampled and killed at special shopping events, music concerts, soccer games, nightclub fires, and by bulls in Spain – anywhere thousands crowd together it seems a few get hurt or killed. I don’t think walruses (walrii ?) have a special dispensation from this sort of thing.

    I am of a mind by this option. The cause of the stampede could have been any natural enemy; especially human beings. There are four natural enemies of walruses: ice that slips and falls on them, polar bears, whales and human hunters.

    We don’t need hunters for causing stampedes; the smallest amount of human smell causes the walruses to flee headlong into the sea. If 200 carcasses were found, then the Stampede was caused by a large group of humans or by strident sounds made by something overflying the area.

  107. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Phil. (10:30:58) :

    That is the same photo that appears on Joe Romm’s site and is linked to the Daily Mail in the UK – just on what basis are you claiming that it is a photo of that location just a few weeks ago? It is not unheard of to use stock photos several years old to illustrate a current story. I’ve been unable to track down any information about that photo, other than what you are claiming here…. and since you are using it as proof of something, demonstrating the provenance is not out of order.

  108. Paul Kelly says:

    Romm has taken down the photo at climate progress.

  109. Phil. says:

    Robert E. Phelan (14:58:49) :
    Phil. (10:30:58) :

    That is the same photo that appears on Joe Romm’s site and is linked to the Daily Mail in the UK – just on what basis are you claiming that it is a photo of that location just a few weeks ago? It is not unheard of to use stock photos several years old to illustrate a current story. I’ve been unable to track down any information about that photo, other than what you are claiming here…. and since you are using it as proof of something, demonstrating the provenance is not out of order.

    Quite so,happy to oblige. I don’t know anything about Joe Romm or the Daily Mail, the picture I linked to was by Gary Friedrichsen / Noaa / The Associated Press, it was stated to be a photo taken of Walruses which were hauled out Sept. 6 on the shore of Icy Cape about 140 southwest of Barrow.

  110. Gary Pearse says:

    Anthony,
    I trust that we will get a report on WUWT after the forensic team has completed its assessment of the bloodied walruses, but will we read it in the newspaper or see it on TV? I doubt it.

  111. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Paul Kelly (17:30:22) :
    Romm has taken down the photo at climate progress.

    Nope. Still there. I was talking about the largish herd on the beach that Phil linked to, not the dead ones, just in case there is any confusion. I spent over an hour trying to track that photo down after Phil claimed it was from the same place a few weeks earlier. Found zip. It appeared in several papers publishing the AP article, but nothing about who took it, where or when. It might be as Phil says or it might be a stock photo taken years ago in Tierra del Fuego. Given the hoo-ha Anthony enjoyed over that wallabee in the snow and the snow bank pictures, checking provenance didn’t seem out of line.

    An hour. You’d think I didn’t have a real life somewhere.

  112. Phil. says:

    Brian in Alaska (12:31:33) :
    And it’s not unheard of for idiots to shoot up a herd just for the ‘fun’ of it, whether it’s walrus or caribou. No meat, or tusks or hides taken, just killing for the thrill. Hell, they’ve even shot several brown bear in the same fashion.

    I’m sure it’s a bit out of the way for that I’d have thought.

    Finally, the feds could have people on the ground at the site in one day, weather permitting. That beach looks like you could land a bush plane on it, or run some 4-wheelers down from the nearest village. The feds have plenty of helicopters, too.
    I’m a pilot and I’d only land there in an emergency (and I wouldn’t expect to be able to take off).
    According to the Feds: “The weather, I must say, has been very uncooperative,” he said. “A lot of airplanes are stuck on the ground. Information is coming to us very slowly.”

  113. mr.artday says:

    Wouldn’t the beach sand be more disturbed if a massive herd had stampeded over the victims?

  114. Phil. says:

    mr.artday (21:19:07) :
    Wouldn’t the beach sand be more disturbed if a massive herd had stampeded over the victims?

    Yes I think it would. As I said above the way the carcasses are bedded into the sand is characteristic of their having been washed by the surf. Either by being covered in place by a rising tide/storm surge or by being washed up there in a storm having died elsewhere on the beach. Contrary to what some have said above there are no footprints or tiretracks on that photograph.

  115. Phil. says:

    J.Hansford (11:24:37) :
    Those dead walrus have been detusked…. There is even shoe prints around them.

    Well until it’s contradicted I’ll take the word of the walrus biologists who overflew the scene that the carcasses were of yearlings or calves in which case there were no tusks to remove. Also there were no footprints on the photograph that I’ve seen.

    Looks to me to be hunters. They’ll have to take it up with the indigenous owners of the land.

    Well the ‘indigenous owners of the land’ generally don’t like to waste the animals by only taking tusks and it seems unlikely that they’d kill ~200 in that way and just leave them there. The above statement re calves notwithstanding.

  116. Brian in Alaska says:

    Aylamp, You are so right! LOL! I’ve corrected folks so often on the “Alaskan Range” or “Alaskan Peninsula” I got stuck in my own rut. Well spotted.

    Phil, I’ve landed on many beaches like that on hunts, it’s a common spot to land. Pilots up here do it all in a day’s work. Low tide, down by the tideline, generally smooth and firm on a sandy/gravel beach.

    And out of the way places are THE places poaches like to operate.

    The weather is the only excuse I’ll buy for not going out there.

  117. Ray Boorman says:

    Guys, I reckon some of you are no better than the AGW alarmists. One comment above was that there were tyre tracks in the bottom left corner, not to mention footprints around each carcass. What a pile of baloney, I say. And blood stains – where did you all get the magnifying glass to pick those out from a photo taken at an altitude of 200 feet or more? Are your monitors 5 feet square? Until someone gets there on the ground no-one knows. The rest is just your personal bias reading into this photo whatever you want to see. In my opinion, whatever killed them, it was definitely nothing to do with climate change.

  118. Smokey says:

    These animals were poached for their ivory. Since elephant ivory is essentially unavailable, walrus ivory is very much in demand.

    Many custom knife makers, for instance, advertise walrus ivory scales [handles], as do makers of custom firearms grips. In addition, collectors buy mounted walrus ivory tusks for display.

    But the alarmist crowd, using the tactic of “silence is concurrence,” mendaciously supports the baseless conjecture that global warming [all 0.6° of it] is the cause of this walrus poaching.

  119. Ricky says:

    Thanks for sharing the information.

  120. Lucy says:

    I haven’t seen anyone point out the obvious fact that AGW would make the walrus’ native lands more hospitable for hunters, I mean, who wouldn’t want to go on an artic big game hunt if it wasn’t all cold, frozen and snowy? So it is probably fair to blame AGW, it’s just not fair to say AGW is bad.

    If you’re disturbed about them taking the tusks and leaving the body, blame the ridiculous bans on ivory over the past several decades. Why even our government has managed (somehow) to mostly successfully manage the edible herds in our country, I don’t believe for a second the ivory trade couldn’t have been successfully managed as well.

  121. Bill Tuttle says:

    Phil. (08:59:02) :

    Did you ask him why the poachers would shoot ~200 walrus calves and leave the bodies behind?

    That would have insulted his intelligence, and caused him to doubt mine. Poachers shoot walrus for their tusks, not their meat.

  122. Phil. says:

    Bill Tuttle (13:45:10) :
    Phil. (08:59:02) :

    “Did you ask him why the poachers would shoot ~200 walrus calves and leave the bodies behind?”

    That would have insulted his intelligence, and caused him to doubt mine. Poachers shoot walrus for their tusks, not their meat.

    And walrus calves don’t have tusks which was the gist of the question.

  123. George E. Smith says:

    Well obviously Orcas are art collectors, and they like to carve walruss tusks; why else would they kill a walruss, and take just it’s head and tusks.

    “””And walrus calves don’t have tusks which was the gist of the question.”””

    So what do walruss calves live off (besides their mother’s milk); until they develop tusks for digging clams off the bottom ?

  124. barbee butts says:

    It’s difficut to see, but are all the animals [more or less] facing the same direction? As if fleeing from a predator? I’m going to go out on a limb here and conclude: Death due to lead poisoning.

  125. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Phil. (23:18:09) :

    1. the walrus biologist(s) did not make a statement. That “THEY” in the article does not seem to refer to anyone. No idea who THEY are.

    2. You have to be looking at the same photo the rest of us are. Frankly, I see what could be foot prints. I’m not a photo analyst, so I could be wrong.

    3. My guess is you know nothing about “indigenous people” and what they are likely or not likely to do. The implication of your statement that evil white men would kill 200 walruses and leave them to rot while the noble Inuit, reverent of nature, would not is a crock.

    Anthony Fischbach took the photo and is out of the office ’till Wednesday… let’s see what he has to say when he gets back, hmmm? And let’s argue from what we really know, OK?

  126. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (15:40:48) :
    Well obviously Orcas are art collectors, and they like to carve walruss tusks; why else would they kill a walruss, and take just it’s head and tusks.

    “””And walrus calves don’t have tusks which was the gist of the question.”””

    So what do walruss calves live off (besides their mother’s milk); until they develop tusks for digging clams off the bottom ?

    Mother’s milk for about 18 months to 2 years, then shrimps etc. for which they don’t need tusks.

  127. Roger Knights says:

    Ray Boorman (01:30:21) wrote:

    “And blood stains – where did you all get the magnifying glass to pick those out from a photo taken at an altitude of 200 feet or more?”

    They’re glaringly obvious, especially if you “click to enlarge.”

  128. Phil. says:

    Robert E. Phelan (18:05:12) :
    Phil. (23:18:09) :

    1. the walrus biologist(s) did not make a statement. That “THEY” in the article does not seem to refer to anyone. No idea who THEY are.

    ‘They’ are walrus biologists: “Federal wildlife researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey on their way to a walrus tagging project spotted 100 to 200 carcasses near Icy Cape about 140 miles southwest of Barrow. They report the dead walruses appeared to be mostly new calves or yearlings.”

    2. You have to be looking at the same photo the rest of us are. Frankly, I see what could be foot prints. I’m not a photo analyst, so I could be wrong.

    Yes and no sign of any footprints or tiretracks.

    3. My guess is you know nothing about “indigenous people” and what they are likely or not likely to do. The implication of your statement that evil white men would kill 200 walruses and leave them to rot while the noble Inuit, reverent of nature, would not is a crock.
    The implication is all yours!

    Anthony Fischbach took the photo and is out of the office ’till Wednesday… let’s see what he has to say when he gets back, hmmm? And let’s argue from what we really know, OK?

    REPLY: I’m good with that. The whole point of this post was to note conclusions made from events not yet fully known. – Anthony

  129. Bill Tuttle says:

    Phil — And walrus calves don’t have tusks which was the gist of the question.

    Walrus *yearlings* do. Nice and shiny, too.

    http://files2.tellmewhereonearth.com/Photos%20Alaska/ak-wal105a.JPG

    and

    http://files.tellmewhereonearth.com/Photos%20Alaska/ak-wal-106.JPG

    You can purchase one for less than $2,000, suitably mounted to a fossil whale vertebra.

  130. Charles Higley says:

    “Biologist Anatoly Kochnev…said the animals only started appearing on shore for extended periods in the late 1990’s, after the sea ice receded.
    “The reason is the global warming,” Kochnev said.”

    Actually, all of the films I have seen (pre-1990s) show walri on shale beaches, their favorite strata for summer birthing and nursing. They actually do not prefer the ice. Floes tend to bump together and crush things – they do not prefer this, nor would I.

    The polar bear strategy of stampeding walri injures individuals and makes them vulnerable to polar bear attack. Healthy walri are fairly safe. In one colony, currently being thinned by Canandian gov’t riflemen, the hungry young bears patrol the shore, preventing their prey from coming ashore. (The prey haul out elsewhere.) The older adults hide out of sight waiting to stampede, but the young ones are screwing up the plan and all are going hungry. The fact that they are starving does not escape the alarmists who claim climate change is causing starvation. Instead, a biologist would say that the polar bear population has reached the carrying limit for this site and needs to decrease, one way or another. By the way, this colony is mainly a rocky shore. [1950 !5,000 p bears, 1990+ 20-25,000 p bears and holding steady or rising slowly, definitely in danger.]

    Despite the claims that climate change has decreased the population of the W Hudson Bay bears by 22% in the last 20 years and attributed to decreased sea ice, the observation has also been made that this decline is in the region where cooling has been the greatest in the Arctic Rim.

    Polar bears are not stupid, they move ashore quite readily and den on land and forage, hunt, and sort garbage dumps, etc. The only reason they prefer the ice is the huge lack of competition, particularly from species trying to eat their young. It’s just easier. The bears can rise to competition quite nicely and hold their with no problem – it just easier out there on the ice.

  131. jeez says:

    walri?

    arrgh! Walruses please.

  132. Esbee says:

    OF CURSE it WAS man (“Hush, Bambi, MAN is in the forest!”) who killed those walruses, in his selfish, earth-killing, way of using fossil fuels which caused the climate to warm up which caused a stampede because the walrus herd became frustrated/lost/confoosed because they had no ice in the drink! Now, if those environMENTALists can somehow hang the extinction of dinosaurs on mankind too that would certainly make their millenium!

    Heads up…if you want to see something really stupid and insane, a plan being pushed by our govt as a way to insure YOU and the foreign meat buyesr, have safe food, check out no nais dot org. The USDA wants me to tell the govt everywhere I go with my horse just to ensure you guys are eating beef free of mad cow disease. Wacky but true!

  133. JeffT says:

    All has been revealed in today’s ADN
    “Trampling blamed for Alaskan walrus Deaths”
    On ground investigation by agents from USFWS, USGS, Alaska Sea Kife Center and Nort Slope Borough found tha the mostly younger walrus had been crushed.

  134. JeffT says:

    For those that would wish to read the article in ADN.
    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/wildlife/story/956884.html

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