What We Do

We work to ensure that the Pacific Walrus in Alaska continue to be a healthy, functioning component of the Bering and Chukchi Seas ecosystems. Alaska's Marine Mammals Management office takes a cooperative, partnership, ecosystem approach to walrus management.

  • 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
  • collaborative management and research programs at the local, state, national, and international levels
A large Pacific walrus bull watches the camera.

Walruses are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which prohibits the take (i.e., harass, hunt, capture, or kill) of all marine mammals. Please click the link provided after "For more information" to access the Service’s Marine Mammals Management Pacific Walrus website.

FWS Focus

Publications and Reports

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

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.

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

MacCracken, J.G. 2012. Pacific walrus and climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about 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)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, 1952–2002Marine Mammal Science. 22(4):880-896.

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

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

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, CanadaMarine Mammal Science. 15(1):179-191.

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 rosmarusCan. J. Zool. 71: 163-167.

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