Immortalised for all time as the tragically sympathetic devourer of a family of oysters in Lewis Carroll’s famous poem, ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter”, from Alice Through the Looking Glass, these majestic creatures were given a reputation as gentle, lumbering giants, soft-hearted victims of their own unavoidable appetite. And, as the world’s second-largest pinniped [narrowly losing out to elephant seals in terms of sizel, Carroll’s poem summed up their true natures rather well!
Almost driven to extinction in the 1950s, populations made a come back in the 1980s as a result of stringent conservation initiatives, but they are once again listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. It is almost inevitable, however, that the changing climate and melting sea ice will have a negative impact on walrus populations.
For the rest of this article and other stories from this issue, see Scuba Diver SD Issue 5/2016. AA. No. 87
To read more about the Walrus, check out our January issue of Scuba Diver Ocean Planet No. 114 Issue 1/2019 where we bring you Inspirational Images of 25 Ocean Species Under Threat