Thursday, October 19, 2006

Local Native Students Study Walrus in Alaska

The Bristol Bay Summer Youth Stewardship Program gives local Native students in Alaska an opportunity to work in ecological research project. This year the students are researching the Pacific walrus who congregate in Bristol Bay of Alaska. "These are critical habitat areas in Bristol Bay where walruses have come to rest between feeding bouts," said Joel Garlich-Miller of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "These isolated locations are filled up with up to tens of thousands of animals out there nesting." Students are tracking the numbers of walruses and monitoring human disturbances near the resting walruses. Walrus numbers in Bristol Bay are declining, and this long-term project will help develop management plans for the species. Walruses have been one of the most important wildlife species in the lives of Natives and Eskimo populations located in the north. Walruses are often depicted in Eskimo art.

See some wonderful Walrus Eskimo Carvings at Free Spirit Gallery.

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