With the polar ice melting dramatically on one hand, the Arctic researchers found an astounding number of baby walruses abandoned on the other. From these simultaneous calamities, the researchers concluded that melting sea ice may be the culprit behind the walrus deaths, as a study in the April issue of Aquatic Mammals reports.
Researchers found nine lone walrus calves, which are possibly abandoned in the shallow continental shelf north of Alaska. This amount is an “anomalous number” for walruses. Sea ice is a place to rest for the young ones, when the mothers dive to feed on animals on the sea floor.
But, according to the study, it seems that the rising ocean temperatures is to be blamed for forcing the walrus mothers abandon their young, following the rapidly retreating ice edge north to colder waters.