"Loss of Sea Ice Leads Walruses to Early Appearance in Alaska"

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says hundreds of Pacific walruses have begun coming ashore along Alaska's northwest coast and it's likely because sea ice in the Arctic Ocean already has receded beyond the outer continental shelf."

"ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Hundreds of Pacific walruses came ashore to a barrier island on Alaska's northwest coast, the earliest appearance of the animals in a phenomenon tied to climate warming and diminished Arctic Ocean sea ice.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that several hundred walruses were spotted during the first week of August near the village of Point Lay on the Chukchi Sea. Last week, the number had grown to 2,000, said spokeswoman Andrea Medeiros in an email response to questions.

It's the earliest date for the arrival, known as a "haulout," to form, the agency said. Walruses from now until early fall are expected to use the barrier island and other locations along the coast as resting areas as they move to and from feeding areas."

Dan Joling reports for the Associated Press August 16, 2017.

Source: AP, 08/17/2017