Pacific walruses have hauled out on a barrier island near Point Lay, Alaska. The Native Village of Point Lay, the Eskimo Walrus Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service respectfully ask those who travel in the area to help prevent stampedes by maintaining their distance. Guidance for pilots and mariners has been developed. Learn more
Since 2007, the loss of sea ice in the Chukchi Sea has resulted in greater numbers of Pacific walruses hauling out on shore for longer periods of time. While on shore, walruses are skittish and will stampede to the water in response to sights, sounds and odors. During a stampede young, small animals frequently get injured or killed. The haulout near Point Lay has formed nearly every year since 2007. The Native Village of Point Lay, the local tribe, has taken a leadership role in the stewardship of the walruses. Watch youth and elders share their thoughts.