New global warming scare: Suicidal walrus stampedes

Forget the polar bear. Walruses may soon become the new global warming poster child.

According to the U.S. Geological Service:

Researchers attached 40 satellite radio-tags on walruses in mid-July in the northern Chukchi Sea. This autumn when walruses are expected to come to rest on shore in the absence of sea ice, USGS and Russian colleagues plan to deploy additional tags on walruses on both U.S. and Russian shores of the Chukchi Sea. Tracking data from this study are intended to help describe walrus movements, foraging areas, and sea ice habitats in the Chukchi Sea and the Chukchi Sea oil lease sale planning area and to provide insights on walrus foraging and movements.

While it all sounds innocent enough, today’s Climatewire explains the real (climate scare) motivation:

Retreating sea ice is driving walruses ashore in Alaska, the U.S. Geological Survey said yesterday.

In normal summers, the marine mammals rest on ice floes in between dives to the ocean floor to feed on clams, worms and snails.

But this year, the sea ice in the eastern Chukchi Sea has retreated beyond the edge of the continental shelf into waters too deep for walruses to forage. The animals have started to seek shelter on land, said USGS biologist Chad Jay…

“The ice is very widely dispersed, and there is little of it left over the continental shelf,” he said. “Based on our tracking data, the walruses appear to be spreading out and spending quite a bit of time looking for sea ice.”

And here’s the problem:

Once on land, the intensely social but easily spooked animals cluster in dense packs. That raises the risk of stampedes, like the event researchers believe killed 131 walruses, including many young animals, on the shores of Icy Cape, Alaska, in the summer of 2009.

So as Polar bear-gate discredits another iconic symbol of global warming hysteria, the alarmists are prepping a substitute species:

In February, the Fish and Wildlife Service ruled that listing the Pacific walrus — the species found in Arctic waters — as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act was “warranted but precluded,” in part because other species in line for protection were at greater risk.

Imagine having to wait in line to be annointed as “endangered.”

You (and Internet-savvy walruses wishing to avoid the crush) can track the situation here.

3 responses to “New global warming scare: Suicidal walrus stampedes

  1. And if the walruses don’t work out, there is always the penguins, or the whales.

  2. Didn’t the Washington Post today run a **full page** inside emotional article (which jumped from the upper right, front page) about oil drilling efforts in the Chukchi Sea?

    This is an oil field containing an estimated 50 percent of previously known N. American reserves, and upon which nearly $4 billion has been spent (mostly by Shell) on permitting and exploration.

    But the propaganda of the last two weeks from all of the usual suspects is about the speculative (not remotely scientific) worries about walrus migrations, and the unsubstantiated and pathetic worries of an 80-year-old granny living in a town that is **75 miles away** from the proposed drilling areas. That’s it! “The drilling noise might upset the whales.”

    Wot!?!??!!

    I remember that my grandma (rest her soul) thought back in the mid-1970’s that the weather had gotten strange ever since the nuclear bomb in 1945.

  3. If one starts testing wild ducks and goose for viruses, one will definitely find some viruses. Migratroy pattern of Polar Bear and Walruses are waste of limited resources. Remindsm e of Sars and Avian and Y2K issues. Those ducks and wild birds have lived with flu and viruses since time immemorial, we are here with our longevities that we ever enjoyed as humans race and huge increase in migratory populations of birds as a result of natural selection of species that can survive that change the best. Look at the American national symbol, the bald eagle, it has been rescued from the brink of extinction and from the status of endangered it is now listed as threatened, soon it is expected that it will be delisted. Avian flu threat amongst human beings would only erupt if there is a massive flu amongst birds and the bird migratory patterns may see a clear decline.

    Now that man has time and money to run tests on wild goose and ducks some results do raise a lot of sensations and heat. It is no more wastage of limited assets, finding an adversary is a national past time for many an over funded scientists. Vigilance based on risk reward and preparedness is one thing but overkill is becoming part of our daily lives.

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