Atlantic Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus), Svalbard, Norway
Both male and female walrus possess the same impressive and distinctive tusks, which can grow up to 1m long. A male Walrus can weigh up to 1500kg and stretch 3.5m in length. Around Svalbard, Walruses reside year-round and it is home to around 2,000 animals. Walruses survive under narrow ecological conditions: They require shallow water in coastal areas for feeding, thick sea-ice to support their weight and haul-out areas, where they can rest while out of the water. Sea ice melt means that thick ice is not nearby the shoreline, making the migration from ice to shore longer, and causing Walruses to go ashore to rest instead of staying on the ice. This video
shows the scale of events which unfolded in Alaska in September 2010.
(text/photo: Peter Prokosch)
(via: UNEP Arctic Biodiversity)