U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Pacific Walrus

FWS Role in Walrus Management

We work to ensure that the Pacific walrus in Alaska continues to be a healthy, functioning component of the Bering and Chukchi Seas ecosystems. Management responsibilities include:

  • international cooperation with Russia on walrus management issues,
  • conducting population surveys, monitoring and modeling populations,
  • monitoring harvest by Alaska Natives,
  • developing habitat protection measures such as regulations to minimize incidental take for industrial operations in walrus habitat, and
  • collaborative management and research programs at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The Marine Mammals Management office takes an ecosystem approach to walrus management, carried out through the cooperative efforts of many partners. Some of these are the National Wildlife Refuges, the Eskimo Walrus Commission, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Marine Fisheries Service, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Alaska SeaLife Center, World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the University of Alaska.

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Walrus are an Important Subsistence Resource

Pacific walruses are an important subsistence and cultural resource to many Alaska and Russian Native cultures. Walruses make up an important part of the diet of many coastal Alaska Natives. Tusks, bones, and hides are used to make authentic Native Alaskan handicrafts, as well as many of the items necessary to continue a subsistence lifestyle. For example, walrus hides are occasionally used for covers for wooden boat frames and tusks were traditionally used for harpoon points, fish hooks, and knives.
The Marine Mammals Management office works closely with Tribal governments and Alaska Native Organizations such as the Eskimo Walrus and Qayassiq Walrus Commissions  to co-manage the Pacific walrus population and ensure that it remains a functioning component of the arctic ecosystem and a sustainable subsistence resource.

For Alaska Natives looking for hunting and handicraft information, click below.

Alaska Native Walrus Hunting

Walrus and calves hauled out on a patch of ice

About the Species

Walruses belong to the family Odobenidae - a group of marine carnivores that was composed of many species in the late Miocene and early Pliocene periods. Today, the family Odobenidae is represented by a single species Odobenus rosmarus of which two subspecies are recognized: the Atlantic walrus (O. r. rosmarus) and the Pacific walrus (O. r. divergens). The two subspecies occur in geographically isolated populations. Several populations of Atlantic walrus occur in Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, and eastern Russia while the Pacific walrus is represented by a single stock of animals which inhabits the Bering and Chukchi seas.
Pacific walruses are one of the largest pinnipeds. The head in both sexes is characterized by a pair of enlarged upper canine teeth that project downward as tusks, small eyes, a lack of external ears, dorsally situated nostrils, and a square-shaped snout with hundreds of stiff whiskers. The head and body are covered with short, tawny hair but the flippers are bare. Walruses are dark when they are young and become progressively lighter with age. Immersion in cold water causes a restriction of blood flow to the skin and a pale, almost white appearance. When warming out of the water ("hauled out"), the skin again becomes perfused with blood and a pink to red color results.

Photo of a walrus in the water
Photo of a walrus in the water. Photo Credit: S. Zagrebelniy
World walrus distribution map
World walrus distribution map

Distribution and Migration

The Pacific walrus mainly inhabits the shallow continental shelf waters of the Bering and Chukchi seas. Several hundred can also be found in the Laptev Sea.  The distribution of Pacific walruses varies markedly with the seasons. Almost the entire population occupies the pack ice in the Bering Sea in the winter months. Through the winter they generally congregate in three areas, immediately southwest of St. Lawrence Island, south of Nunivak Island, and in the Gulf of Anadyr in Russia. As the Bering Sea pack ice begins to break up and melt in spring walruses begin to move northward and their distribution becomes less clumped. By late April walruses can be found from Bristol Bay northward to the Bering Strait. During the summer months, as the pack ice continues to recede northward, most of the population migrates into the Chukchi Sea. The largest concentrations are found near the coasts between 700 N latitude and Pt. Barrow in the east, and between the Bering Strait and Wrangel Island in the west. Concentrations, mainly of males, are also found on and near terrestrial haulouts in the Bering Sea in Bristol Bay and the northern Gulf of Anadyr throughout the summer. In October the pack ice begins to develop in the Chukchi Sea, and large herds begin to move southward. Many come ashore on haulouts on the Russian side of the Bering Strait region. Depending on ice conditions, those haulout sites continue to be occupied through November and into December, but with the continuing development of ice, most walruses move south of St. Lawrence Island and the Chukchi Peninsula by early to mid-December.



Food and Habitat Requirements 

Although capable of diving deeper, Pacific walruses for the most part are found in waters 300 ft. deep or less, possibly because of higher productivity of their benthic foods in the shallower water. Feeding areas typically are composed of sediments of soft, fine sands; compacted sediments apparently inhibit foraging. In some instances, walruses forage among rocky substrates. They use their sensitive whiskers (known as vibrissae) to locate prey items in the sediments of the sea floor. With head down and vibrissae in contact with the bottom, the walrus proceeds forward, propelling itself with their hind flippers. Then they use their nose, jets of water and suction to dislodge their prey from the sediments.

Clams are their most common food, however other invertebrates such snails, sea cucumbers, crabs, and segmented worms are frequently found in their stomachs. Prey are manipulated by the lips and grasped with the aid of roughly textured gums, rather than by the teeth. The soft parts of mollusks are removed from the shells by suction and the shells are then spit out. Occasionally, small mollusks less than 30 mm in diameter are swallowed whole, shell and all, but from the larger mollusks only the siphon or foot ordinarily is ingested. Invertebrates without shells are swallowed whole without chewing. Walruses occasionally consume fish. They are frequently reported to prey on small seals such as ringed and ribbon seals. The incidence of seal eating may vary with location and population status. The frequency of walrus stomachs containing seals generally is less than 10% but seems to have increased in recent years.

Sea Ice

Ice floes are used for resting and giving birth, and walruses require pack ice that will support their weight and allow ready access to the water in which they feed. While walruses can break (with their heads) ice up to 8 inches thick, they require ice thicknesses of about 24 inches or more to support their weight. Ice that rises too high out of the water, such as multi-year floes, cannot be used by walruses. Generally walruses occupy first-year ice with natural openings such as leads and polynyas (persistently open water within the ice pack) and are not found in areas of extensive, solid ice. Thus, their concentrations in winter are along the edge of the ice pack or the edges of polynyas. In summer those associating with ice are found along the southern margin of the Chukchi Sea pack ice, moving farther into the pack in stormy seas. Floe size and topography appear to be important in the selection of ice haulout sites as well as proximity to prey.

Photo of walrus on the ice
Photo of walrus on the ice. Photo Credit: B. Benter/USFWS



Photo of walrus group
Photo of walrus group. Photo Credit: B. Tracey

Terrestrial Haulouts

Coastal haulout sites include islands, points, spits, and headlands. A wide variety of substrates make up suitable sites, but protection from strong winds and surf seems also to be important. Social factors, learned behavior, and proximity to prey probably influence the location of haulout sites but little information exists about such factors.

In Alaska, major terrestrial haulouts occur in Bristol Bay at Cape Seniavin, Round Island, Cape Pierce, Hagemeister Island, Cape Greig, and Cape Newenham. Consistent seasonal occupation of specific haulouts by some individuals suggests at least some degree of site fidelity. Data from tagging and radio-tracking studies as well as observations suggest that site fidelity may wane as frequent human disturbances occur. In response to recent declines in sea ice in the Chukchi Sea, new haulouts have formed along the Chukchi coast in August and September.  Several sites along the Russian coast are also used. Walruses that summer in Alaskan waters have consistently used a barrier Island near Point Lay for the last several years. Disturbances at these haulouts that are composed of females and young animals can result in mortalities as smaller animals succumb to trampling as the herd stampedes into the water.  In addition, lesser levels of background mortality are also common at these haulouts as injuries among smaller animals may occur due to normal interactions among adults when jockeying for position within the herd and defending their current position from other animals.  See Natural Mortality below for additional information on mortality at haulouts


Growth and Reproduction

At birth calves of both sexes weigh anywhere from 100 to 150 lbs and are approximately 4.5 feet in length. After the first few years of life, the growth rate of females declines rapidly until a maximum body size is reached by approximately 10 years of age. Adult females are generally smaller than males, with an average weight of about 1900 lbs and an average length of approximately 9 feet. Although females reach sexual maturity at approximately 4-5 years of age they do not reach their full reproductive potential until they are nine or ten years old.

Male walrus tend to grow faster and larger than females. After a secondary acceleration of growth, males reach a full adult body size at 15-16 years of age. The head of the male is larger and more block shaped; and the tusks are stouter, straighter, and more elliptical in cross section than those of females. The tusks are used in intra-specific threat displays and fighting that is most severe in the case of breeding males. Raised nodules on the skin of the neck and shoulders develop only in sexually mature males. Adult males average over 2,700 lbs in weight and 10.5 feet in length. Males tend to become fertile at 5-7 years of age but are likely unable to compete for mates until they reach full physical maturity at approximately 15 years of age.

Pacific walrus breed in the winter between December and March. After fertilization the ovum becomes a blastocyst and remains in a state of suspended development for 3-4 months. Implantation occurs in June or July and the fetus resumes development for approximately eleven months. Calves are usually born in late April or May.

The walrus has the lowest reproductive rate of any pinniped species. The delay in implantation of the embryo, and 11 month gestation period, results in a reproductive cycle of more than one year. A successful pregnancy lasts through the next breeding season which results in an interval between successive births to 2 years. Most pinnipeds mate within days or weeks of parturition. In contrast, walruses give birth several months after the breeding season and do not have a postpartum estrus. Furthermore, fertility appears to be reduced in the breeding season following the birth of a calf. The factors affecting the resumption of estrous cycles in walruses are unknown; however in some mammals estrus is suppressed during lactation by elevated levels of the pituitary hormone prolactin which is produced and maintained in response to the suckling stimulus. Walruses nurse calves for more than a year and ovulation may be suppressed until the calf is weaned.  Thus, females in good condition and at prime breeding ages may only produce a calf every 3 years.

In compensation for their low reproductive rate, walruses have relatively low rates of natural mortality. Walrus calves accompany their mother from birth and are not weaned for 2 years or more. The prolonged lactation period allows walrus calves to achieve an advanced developmental state prior to weaning, which ultimately leaves them well equipped to forage and escape predators.

Photo of Walrus mom and calf
Photo of Walrus mom and calf.
Walrus mother and calf.
Walrus mother and calf. Photo credit: J. Molan




Group of walrus on ice with a ship in the background
Group of walrus on ice with a ship in the background. Photo credit: C. Irrigoo

Population Size

The size of the Pacific walrus population is uncertain. The size of the pre-exploitation population (1700’s) may have been between 200,000-250,000 animals. Cooperative aerial surveys by the U.S. and the former Soviet Union (now Russia) occurred in 1975, then at five-year intervals until 1990. The 1975 survey estimated the population size at 221,360. The joint census conducted in 1980 estimated population size at 246,360. Surveys conducted in 1985 and 1990 produced estimates of 234,020 and 201,039, respectively. Cooperative aerial surveys ceased in 1995 due to budget limitations and unresolved methodological problems. After much deliberation and testing, another aerial survey occurred in 2006 incorporating advanced thermal imaging and telemetry technologies, resulting in an estimate of 129,000 animals with a confidence interval of 55,000-550,000. The estimates generated from these aerial surveys are conservative minimum population estimates that are not useful for detecting population trends.

In 2012, a new approach to population estimation using the genetic fingerprint of individual walruses within a mark-recapture framework began testing. Two aspects of the approach were successfully assessed in 2013, the genetic identification of individuals and the ability to collect an adequate sample. The surveys then continued through 2017. A preliminary estimate for the year 2014 was about 283,000 individuals and a confidence interval of 93,000-479,000. The data for subsequent years is currently under analysis.

Sensory Perception and Disturbance 

The eyes are small and vision is not well developed in walruses. Tactile perception via the vibrissae is well developed and important in feeding. As in other pinnipeds, walrus have good directional hearing capability underwater. Sensitivity to airborne sounds is lower than to underwater sounds, but the degree of sensitivity loss is not clear.

Walruses often flee haulouts en masse in response to the sight, sound, and especially odors from humans and machines. The significance of such disturbance to individuals and to populations is not well known, due to great variation in the observed responses to disturbance and a lack of relevant data.

Walruses depend on hauling out to complete their molt and grow new hair, to whelp, to nurse young, and just to rest. At those times even temporary displacement from haulout areas may be detrimental to the population. There is some evidence of haulouts being completely abandoned as a result of prolonged disturbance but those cases must be assessed carefully because evidence also exists for changes in walrus distribution for reasons not fully understood.

Females with young are the most responsive to disturbances and the separation of females from their dependent young can be a serious problem. Orphaned calves, especially in the first year of nursing, probably starve. In the first few days of the calf's life, the mother vigorously maintains contact with the calf. However, as the calf grows older that behavior wanes increasing the potential for separation during disturbance.

Even temporary separations can be lethal, in that polar bears prey upon calves and take advantage of even brief separations from the normally attentive cow. Calves especially are vulnerable to disturbance on terrestrial haulouts. Large numbers of calves have been trampled to death during stampedes caused by human and natural disturbances at terrestrial haulouts. The potential for mortalities during stampedes appears to be less in the case of animals on the ice, as groups are generally smaller and can easily reach the water.

 Group of walrus laying on the beach
Group of walrus laying on the beach. Photo Credit: USFWS



Walrus skull
Walrus skull. Photo credit: USFWS

Natural Mortality

Polar bears and killer whales prey on walruses. The magnitude of natural mortality is unknown but likely low, given the population's low productivity.  Alaska Native hunters from St. Lawrence Island have described emaciated walruses after they were stuck in heavy ice for several weeks.  It is probable that in some instances, those walruses starve to death but no documentation of such events exists.  Malnourished animals occur frequently but they currently make up a small portion of the population. Rockslides are a hazard to walruses on some terrestrial haulouts and occasionally result in mortality. 

Some haulout sites include shorelines that grade from little topographical relief to steep slopes and cliffs.  As large numbers of walruses gather at these sites, the first to arrive move further inland and may eventually settle at the tops of the steeper slopes and cliffs.  As most animals head back to sea to feed, those on the steeper slopes and cliffs are also rested and ready to feed and sometimes take the most direct route down the slope or off the cliff.  This behavior has resulted in serious injuries and deaths.  As with most animals whose eyes are oriented to the side of their head, rather than forward, walrus’s depth perception is likely poor and they are nearsighted.  These occurrences were rare in the past, normally involved relatively few animals, and in some instances coastline topographical changes and vegetation succession prevented the situation from repeating at a location.  The few management interventions tried met with mixed success and are generally short-lived.

Serious injury and death can also result from intra-specific interactions, mainly involving strikes with tusks and trampling at haulouts (see above). Skin lacerations and subcutaneous hemorrhages resulting from tusk strikes are common in both sexes and all age-classes. The most serious wounds occur on males during the breeding season when they wound each other during vigorous fights in the water. Trampling can result in abortion, injury, and death during stampedes at crowded haulouts as seen at Wrangel Island in the Chukchi Sea, the Punuk Islands in the Bering Sea, and Icy Cape and Point Lay on the Alaskan coast.

Walrus Reports

To receive a copy of a publication or report listed here, please contact:
Marine Mammals Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1011 E. Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99503
or call 907-786-3800

Fact Sheets



MacCracken, J.G., and R.B. Benter. 2015. Trend in Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) tusk asymmetry, 1990-2014. Marine Mammal Science, DOI: 10.1111/mms.12286.


MacCracken, J.G., P.R. Lemons, III, J.L. Garlich-Miller, and J.A. Snyder. 2014. An index of optimum sustainable population for the Pacific Walrus. Ecological Indicators 43:36-43.


Huntington, H.P., G. Noongwook, N.A. Bond, B. Benter, J.A. Snyder, and J. Zhang. 2013. The influence of wind and ice on spring walrus hunting success on St. Lawrence Island.  Deep-Sea Research II 94:312-322. 

MacCracken, J.G., J. Garlich-Miller, J. Snyder, and R. Meehan. 2013. Bayesian belief network models for species assessments: an example with the Pacific walrus.  Wildlife Society Bulletin 37:226-235.

Robards, M., and J. Garlich-Miller. 2013. Workshop on assessing Pacific walrus population attributes from coastal haul-outs. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management, MMM 13-1, Anchorage, AK.

Udevitz, M.S. R.L. Taylor, J.L. Garlich-Miller, L.T. Quakenbush, and J.A. Snyder. 2013. Potential population-level effects of increased haulout-related mortality of Pacific walrus calves.  Polar Biology 36:291-298.


MacCracken, J.G. 2012. Pacific walrus and climate change: observations and predictions. Ecology and Evolution 2:2072-2090

Errattum.  Pacific walrus and climate change: observations and predictions. Ecology and Evolution 3:381.


Speckman, S.G., V.I. Chernook, D.M. Burn, M.S. Udevitz, A.A. Kochnev, C.V. Jay, A. Lisovsky, A.S. Fischbach, and R.B. Benter. 2011. Results and evaluation of a survey to estimated Pacific walrus population size, 2006. Marine Mammal Science 27:51-553.


Burn, D.M., M.A. Udevitz, S.G. Speckman, and R.B. Benter.  2009.  An improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus signatures in airborne thermal imagery.  International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation (1mb - pdf ) 11: 324–333.


Udevitz, M.S., D.M. Burn, and M.A. Webber. 2008. Estimation of walrus populations on sea ice with infrared imagery and aerial photography. Marine Mammal Science (pdf) 24: 57-70


Burn, D.M., M.A. Webber, and M.S. Udevitz.  2006.  Application of airborne thermal imagery to surveys of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). (pdf) Wildlife Society Bulletin. 34(1):51-58.

Burn, D.M., Udevitz, M.S., Webber, M.A., and Garlich-Miller, J.L. 2006. Development of Airborne Remote Sensing Methods for Surveys of Pacific Walruses. OCS Study MMS 2006-003, 24 pp.

Garlich-Miller, J.L., Quakenbush, L.T., and Bromaghin, J.F. 2006. Trends in age Structure and Productivity of Pacific Walruses Harvested in the Bering Strait Region of Alaska, 1952–2002. Marine Mammal Science. 22(4):880-896.


Garlich-Miller, J.L. and Burn, D.M. 1999. Estimating the harvest of Pacific walrus, Odobenus rosmarus divergens in Alaska. Fish. Bulletin 97(4): 1043-1046.

Garlich-Miller, J.L., and Stewart, R.E.A. 1999. Female reproductive patterns and fetal growth of Atlantic walruses Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus in Foxe Basin NT, Canada. Marine Mammal Science. 15(1):179-191.

Seagars, D. and Garlich-Miller, J.L. 2001. Organochlorine compounds and aliphatic hydrocarbons in Pacific walrus blubber. Marine Pollution Bulletin 43 (1): 122-131


Garlich-Miller, J.L., and Stewart, R.E.A. 1998. Growth and sexual dimorphism of Atlantic walruses Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus in Foxe Basin NT, Canada. Marine Mammal Science. 14(4):803-818.


Garlich-Miller, J.L., Stewart, R.E.A., Stewart, B.E., and Hiltz, E.A. 1993. Comparison of mandibular with cemental growth-layer counts for ageing Atlantic walrus Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus. Can. J. Zool. 71: 163-167.


Taylor, D.L., S. Schliebe, and H. Metsker. 1989. Contaminants in blubber, liver and kidney tissue of Pacific walruses. Marine Pollution Bulletin: 20(9): 465-468.


Technical Reports


Garlich-Miller, J., Editor. 2012. Adapting to climate change: a community workshop on the conservation and management of walruses on the Chukchi Sea coast. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, AK.


Garlich-Miller, J., W. Neakok, and R. Stimmelmayr. 2011. Field report: walrus carcass survey, Point Lay, Alaska September 11-15, 2011. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, AK.


Garlich-Miller, J. (ed) 2003. Proceedings of a Workshop on the Potential Application of Mark-Recapture Methods to Estimate the Size and Trend of the Pacific Walrus Population. USFWS R7/MMM Technical Report 03-1; 13 pp.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2002. Stock assessment for Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens): Alaska Stock. Marine Mammal Protection Act Stock Assessment Report. 6 pp. Available on our web site under Stock Assessment Reports.


Garlich-Miller, J. and Jay, C.V. (eds). 2000. Proceedings of a workshop concerning walrus survey methods. USFWS R7/MMM Technical Report 00-2, 92 pp.


Garlich-Miller, J. and C. Pungowiyi, eds. 1999. Proceedings of a workshop concerning walrus harvest monitoring in Alaska and Chukotka. Fish & Wildlife Service Technical Report MMM 99-1; 59pp.


Garlich-Miller, J. 1997. Age, sex, and reproductive status of Pacific walrus harvested in the Bering Strait region, 1994-1996. Fish & Wildlife Service Technical Report MMM 97-1; 26pp.

Kruse, S. 1997. Behavioral Changes of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in response to human activities. Fish & Wildlife Service Technical Report MMM 97-4; 30pp.


Seagars, D.J., P. Hessing, C.E. Bowlby, L. Noonan, and D.M. Burn. 1995. Annual summary: information collected during the 1993 Spring walrus harvest in Alaska. Fish & Wildlife Service Technical Report MMM 95-1; 31pp.


Fay, F.H. and C.E. Bowlby. 1994. The harvest of Pacific walrus, 1931-1989. Fish &Wildlife Service Technical Report MMM 94-2; 44pp.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Conservation Plan for the Pacific Walrus in Alaska. Marine Mammals Management, FWS, Anchorage, AK. 79pp.


Anderson, L.E. and Garlich-Miller J.L. 1994. Economic monitoring and analysis of the 1992 and 1993 summer walrus hunts in Northern Foxe Basin, Northwest Territories. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2011 20 pp.

Warburton, J. and D.J. Seagars. 1993. Heavy metal concentrations in liver and kidney tissues of Pacific walrus. Fish & Wildlife Service Technical Report MMM 94; 23pp.


Gilbert, J., G. Fedoseev, D.J. Seagars, E. Razlivalov, and A. Lachugin. 1992. Aerial census of Pacific walrus, 1990. Fish & Wildlife Service Administrative Report R7/MMM 92-1; 32pp.

Harvest monitoring reports


J. Snyder. 2002. 2002 Walrus Harvest Monitor Project Annual Summary. Unpublished report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.


J. Snyder. 2001. 2001 Walrus Harvest Monitor Project Annual Summary. Unpublished report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.


Dickerson, L., J. Snyder, G. Henry, D. Sockpick, C. Bailey, J. Barnum and D. Burn. 2000. 2000 Walrus Harvest Monitor Project Annual Summary. Unpublished report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.


Dickerson, L., J. Snyder, W. Stephensen and D. Burn. 1999. 1999 Walrus Harvest Monitor Project Annual Summary. Unpublished report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.


Dickerson, L., T. Fischbach, J. Snyder, W. Stephensen and D. Burn. 1998. 1998 Walrus Harvest Monitor Project Annual Summary. Unpublished report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.


Dickerson, L., D. Burn, J. Garlich-Miller, M. Cody, T. Fischbach, M. Ungott, T. James, J. Snyder, J. Iya, and M. Mazonna. 1997. 1996 Walrus Harvest Monitor Project Annual Summary. Unpublished report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.

Dickerson, L., T. Fischbach, J. Snyder, D. Burn, H. Apassingok, and M. Mezonna. 1997. 1997 Walrus Harvest Monitor Project Annual Summary. Unpublished report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.


Dickerson, L., D. Burn, J. Garlich-Miller, T. Fischbach, S. Rice, J. Boucher and B. Howard. 1996. 1995 Walrus Harvest Monitor Project Annual Summary. Unpublished report U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, Alaska.


Last updated: January 2016

Stock Assessment Reports

Section 117 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, as amended in 1994, requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to report periodically on the status of marine mammal stocks within Alaskan waters. Each stock assessment includes a description of the stock's geographic range, a minimum population estimate, current population trends, current and maximum net productivity rates, optimum sustainable population levels and allowable removal levels, and estimates of annual human-caused mortality and serious injury through interactions with commercial fisheries and subsistence hunters. Stock assessment reports are used to evaluate the progress of fisheries towards achieving the goal of zero mortality and serious injury to marine mammals.


Polar Bear:

Sea Otter:




For more information, and for Stock Assessment Reports on other marine mammals, visit the National Marine Fisheries Service web site.

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