Conservationists are on the hunt for “citizen scientists” to spot walruses from their very own house to help monitor populations of the creatures and provides scientists an understanding of what number of are left in the wild.
Keen-eyed members of the public are being requested to scour images of the Arctic taken from area for the blubbery mammals and report any sightings to WWF and the British Antarctic Survey, as a part of a census of Atlantic walrus and walrus from the Laptev Sea.
It is hoped half one million folks worldwide will be part of the Walrus from Space analysis challenge, and look via 1000’s of high-resolution satellite images – a job too gargantuan for researchers to full alone.
Despite being an necessary species in the Arctic ecosystem, little is understood about what number of walruses exist alongside distant and largely inaccessible 25,000 sq km (9,650 sq miles) of Arctic shoreline – an space bigger than Wales.
The challenge builds on the data of indigenous communities, monitoring the results of world heating on the animals, whose habitat is heating up virtually thrice quicker than the remainder of the world, with roughly 13% of summer time sea ice disappearing each decade.
Rod Downie, chief polar adviser at WWF, mentioned: “What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay there; the climate crisis is a global problem, bigger than any person, species or region. Ahead of hosting this year’s global climate summit, the UK must raise its ambition and keep all of its climate promises – for the sake of the walrus, and the world.”
Hannah Cubaynes, a analysis affiliate on the British Antarctic Survey, mentioned: “Assessing walrus populations by traditional methods is very difficult as they live in extremely remote areas, spend much of their time on the sea ice and move around a lot. Satellite images can solve this problem as they can survey huge tracts of coastline to assess where walrus are and help us count the ones that we find.
“However, doing that for all the Atlantic and Laptev walrus will take huge amounts of imagery, too much for a single scientist or small team, so we need help from thousands of citizen scientists to help us learn more about this iconic animal.”