Shocking Photos: Walruses Suffer as Sea Ice Melts

The Pacific walrus was considered by scientists and wildlife organizations as one of the ten most threatened species in 2010. Similar to the polar bear, walruses rely on sea ice for breeding, giving birth, resting and feeding. As that sea ice disappears, so do populations of walruses.

Unlike seals, walruses must rest between long periods of swimming, which is generally done on large pieces of sea ice or on land. But when the sea ice is nowhere to be found, walruses have no choice but to vie for the same land as tens of thousands of their fellow walruses, causing stampedes of up to 40,000, which kill thousands from trampling. This phenomenon has recently been documented by the NOAA, and the photos have gone viral.

Sea ice is also the primary location for Pacific walrus to give birth. If this sea ice disappears, walruses could be in danger before they are even born.

Population numbers of walruses are currently unknown, but the dangers are clear. Please tell your Senators that they have been stuck in a pattern of inaction for far too long. We need immediate, strong climate action in order to save this beautiful species.

Dear Senator,

The Pacific walrus, like the polar bear, is reliant on sea ice for breeding, giving birth, resting and feeding. As sea ice continues to melt sooner, these animals are forced into behaviors that are unusual for them, causing the deaths of thousands.

Climate change presents an unprecedented threat to many types of wildlife. As one of your constituents, a wildlife enthusiast and an American concerned with the future of my country, I strongly urge you to ensure that the climate change bill adequately addresses global warming and provides resources to safeguard our nation's wildlife and wild places from the impacts of climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change warns that if we don’t take strong action to address global warming soon, 20-30% of the world’s plant and animal species will be at increased risk of extinction by 2050.
Reducing carbon emissions is not enough. Any comprehensive climate and energy legislation must dedicate 5 percent of the funding generated to safeguarding fish and wildlife and the natural resources on which we all rely.

Thank you for your time.


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