Disappearing Sea Ice Forces Exodus Of Pacific Walrus07:30
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In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 23, 2014 and released by NOAA, some 1,500 walrus are gather on the northwest coast of Alaska. Pacific walrus looking for places to rest in the absence of sea ice are coming to shore in record numbers, according to NOAA. (Corey Accardo/NOAA via AP)
In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 23, 2014 and released by NOAA, some 1,500 walrus are gather on the northwest coast of Alaska. Pacific walrus looking for places to rest in the absence of sea ice are coming to shore in record numbers, according to NOAA. (Corey Accardo/NOAA via AP)
This article is more than 5 years old.

Pacific walrus that can't find sea ice for resting in Arctic waters are coming ashore in record numbers on a beach in northwest Alaska.

An estimated 35,000 walrus were photographed Saturday about 5 miles north of Point Lay, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Point Lay is an Inupiat Eskimo village 300 miles southwest of Barrow and 700 miles northwest of Anchorage.

The enormous gathering was spotted during NOAA's annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey, spokeswoman Julie Speegle said by email. The survey is conducted with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency that oversees offshore lease sales.

Lee Cooper, a research professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss the phenomenon.

Guest

  • Lee Cooper, a research professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

This segment aired on October 2, 2014.

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