Created 1-Oct-14
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There are approximately 200,000 Pacific walruses and some 20,000-30,000 Atlantic walrus. Walruses are extremely social animals. They haul out in tight groups when on land or ice and usually travel at sea in groups as well. these are usually adult males. Walruses have a narrow ecological niche .Walruses were once very abundant in the Svalbard Archipelago. However, they were hunted virtually to extinction in Svalbard during three and a half centuries of heavy commercial exploitation. Ivory was a valuable trade item and walrus haul out sites were very easily exploited. Despite 50 years of protection, walrus numbers are still low in Svalbard ( 2500) and they remain on the Norwegian National Red List. However, walrus numbers are increasing and they are starting to haul out in sites on land that have not been used for many decades.

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