WALRUS COLONY FORMS NEAR ARCTIC WATCH
September 21, 2019 | The Northwest Passage
We're so excited to see a new walrus colony form near Arctic Watch!
This summer, our team discovered a new walrus colony of roughly 60 individuals on a small rock island. A short flight across the Northwest Passage from Arctic Watch, we’re please to be offering the opportunity to visit the colony starting in 2020, as an optional one-day excursion.
Walrus are a flippered marine mammal that can weigh more than 2,000 kg; they live in shallow Arctic waters looking for mollusks to eat. A keystone species of Arctic marine environments, they are characterized by large whiskers and prominent ivory tusks used to forage. These long-lived mammals are highly social and live in continental Arctic waters. Many indigenous Arctic peoples (circumpolar) have hunted walrus for their meat, fat, skin, tusks and bone over the centuries - they were widely considered a crucial animal to ensuring nomadic Inuit survival.
Tessum shares on the first day we watched the colony: “It was a very special encounter on our first day with the colony - we spent more than three hours watching these impressive giants socialize on their rock island. Several animals were actively foraging in the shallows, while others were sleeping, fighting and nursing. Armed with cameras, binoculars and a drone, we had the perfect vantage point from atop a nearby granite cliff to observe these animals. You could hear the barks, honks and growls from more than one kilometre away.”