Marine Mammals Management
Alaska Region


Walrus Disease Investigation Title Bar

Photo of a healthy walrus and her calf.  Photo Credit:  USFWSWorking Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events has removed Pacific walruses from the list of animals currently being affected by a disease that has impacted several seal species across the North Slope and Bering Strait regions of Alaska since 2011.

The Northern Pinniped Unusual Mortality Event (UME) will remain open for ice seals (ringed seals, ribbon seals, bearded seals and spotted seals)—based on continued reports of ice seals with disease symptoms from the Bering Strait region of Alaska. Monitoring for signs of the still unknown disease in Pacific walruses will continue through existing biological monitoring programs in Alaska.

The public is encouraged to report sightings of dead or stranded marine mammals in Alaska to the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 1-877-925-7773; or to local wildlife authorities at the following numbers:

North Slope Borough:
North Slope Borough, Department of Wildlife Management:

Bering Strait region:
Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program:
1-855-443-2397 / 907-434-1149
Eskimo Walrus Commission:

Kawerak, Inc.
Yukon-Kuskokwim delta:
Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program:
1-855-443-2397 / 907-434-1149

Visit NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region web page for detailed information on the Northern Pinniped UME


Last updated: May 12, 2014