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The Walrus is a fascinating species that lives in the area around the north pole.
There are 2 subspecies of the Walrus, the Atlantic walrus and the Pacific walrus. Currently, these animals number in total 250,000 but before exploitation there were thought to be a high of 200,000 Pacific Walrus and the Atlantic Walrus population merely estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. While now having been subspecies for quite some time, the two are only thought to have diverged 500,000 to 750000 years ago.
While its current distribution is clearly very centred around the north pole, they roam widely. They used to be found in the UK until around 1850, and several have spent time around the UK in the last few years. The picture above is that of wally the Walrus resting in Cornwall.
I wrote back in March about a Walrus that was seen around Ireland for some time. There were 2 walrus in British waters last year, a male and a female. The last male walrus and his harem of 3 females were killed back in 1847. Both walrus are thought to be young. 2 Walrus in …...
Walrus are thought of as an arctic species, and indeed this is where they are found in their greatest numbers. However, they once had a greater range. Walrus have been extinct here for 3000 years, however the UK is part of their natural range, if an extreme southerly point.
After the sudden rise in ivory poaching that started around 2008 there was a big increase in protection though this was often to slow. Half of the forest elephants of west Africa (thought to be as closely related to mammoths as African Savannah elephants), were taken in the last decade. ecosystems such as the Selous …...