One Cool Thing: Where’s Walrus?

Image: Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia

Do you have a good eye? Are you surprisingly good at Where’s Waldo and like Walruses? If so, we have great opportunity for you! The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is seeking volunteers to help count Atlantic walruses…from space.

 

Sea ice is retreating fast as global temperatures rise, forcing walruses to crowd on smaller floes and limited land. “And that comes with a number of impacts,” explained Rod Downie, Chief Polar Adviser at WWF, “which include overcrowding with the potential for calves to be crushed in stampedes.” WWF estimates that there are approximately 21,400 animals left. 

 

To confirm those numbers, the Walrus from Space project is recruiting citizen scientists. Scout groups, among others, have already started observing satellite imagery to determine the presence of walruses and once they do — they get to counting. “It’s fun to see the way they live and how many there are, and they are kind of really cool creatures,” said Charlotte Guise, a scout from the UK.

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