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Walrus in Ireland (1 Viewer)

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
A cool thing to see, but not great news for the walrus I imagine
Not necessarily. Historically, the Atlantic Walrus ranged a lot farther south than it does currently. Even though they are considered to be an Arctic animal now, that has more to do with human persecution than climatic specialization. So, assuming there are sufficient shellfish and it's not otherwise sick/injured, it might do perfectly fine.
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
Not necessarily. Historically, the Atlantic Walrus ranged a lot farther south than it does currently. Even though they are considered to be an Arctic animal now, that has more to do with human persecution than climatic specialization. So, assuming there are sufficient shellfish and it's not otherwise sick/injured, it might do perfectly fine.
Roughly how far south?
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Not necessarily. Historically, the Atlantic Walrus ranged a lot farther south than it does currently. Even though they are considered to be an Arctic animal now, that has more to do with human persecution than climatic specialization. So, assuming there are sufficient shellfish and it's not otherwise sick/injured, it might do perfectly fine.
How long ago are we talking, and does that actually match the Ice Ages, when presumably they had to move South as did everything else!

John
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
There were breeding populations at least as far south as Nova Scotia, but were wiped out through overharvesting by Europeans in the 1600's. Possibly further south to Maine, although I am uncertain if there was any breeding ever that far south, or just dispersal. So yeah this isn't just an Ice Age thing (although during the Ice Ages they did reach as far south as San Francisco and the Carolinas as far as North America is concerned.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
There were breeding populations at least as far south as Nova Scotia, but were wiped out through overharvesting by Europeans in the 1600's. Possibly further south to Maine, although I am uncertain if there was any breeding ever that far south, or just dispersal. So yeah this isn't just an Ice Age thing (although during the Ice Ages they did reach as far south as San Francisco and the Carolinas as far as North America is concerned.
Interesting. Thank you!

John
 

pianoman

duck and diver, bobolink and weaver
There were breeding populations at least as far south as Nova Scotia, but were wiped out through overharvesting by Europeans in the 1600's. Possibly further south to Maine, although I am uncertain if there was any breeding ever that far south, or just dispersal. So yeah this isn't just an Ice Age thing (although during the Ice Ages they did reach as far south as San Francisco and the Carolinas as far as North America is concerned.
We sometimes forget that we in Ireland are at about the same latitude as Nova Scotia, but the gulf stream makes a huge difference to the climate.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Wasn't there a long-staying Bearded Seal somewhere in that area? A few years back?
In recent times we've had long-staying Bearded Seals in Shetland, Orkney and longer ago, Hartlepool (East coast of Northern England). Walruses are much rarer and don't seem to hang around. Way back in 1987 there was a Harp Seal in Shetland that a number of birders twitching a Harlequin caught up with (including me I'm happy to say) but they also don't usually seem to hang around - more recent ones at Portland and North-east England (sorry, forgotten where) were brief.

John
 

raymie

Well-known member
United States
There were breeding populations at least as far south as Nova Scotia, but were wiped out through overharvesting by Europeans in the 1600's. Possibly further south to Maine, although I am uncertain if there was any breeding ever that far south, or just dispersal. So yeah this isn't just an Ice Age thing (although during the Ice Ages they did reach as far south as San Francisco and the Carolinas as far as North America is concerned.
Do you know if it would be possible to reintroduce Walrus to these areas?
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Do you know if it would be possible to reintroduce Walrus to these areas?
As far as I am aware, the only truly successful introductions done for conservation have been of sea otters, as far as marine mammals go. There are just lots of logistical issues with introducing large marine mammals, and with walruses you are talking about translocating animals that can easily weigh over 2000 pounds. And even if you did so, there is no guarantee they wouldn't just swim back up north to their home territory. Best we can really do is protect them and there environment and hope for a natural recolonization.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Think someone wants a lickle belly rub ... yes they do. Little snuckums..



Doesn't like unhealthy ... or impossible to say whether it is a bit on the slim side for it's size?
If anything it looks plumper than the Scottish one of a couple of years ago. It's just swum from Ireland to Wales, I don't think there's anything wrong with it apart from being a bit lost. I notice there was an immediate "oh, everyone must leave it in peace" from one "commentator" on Twitter: this of a species that shrugs off direct assaults from Polar Bears.....

John
 

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