Inuktitut name - Aiviq

Colour - black when wet, brown when dry

Length - 2.5 to 4 metres (males larger than females)

Shape - tusks protruding downward from mouth; thick wrinkled skin, often with little hair in older animals

Behaviour - usually found in herds, especially when on shore; congregates in harems (with large bulls assembling numerous cows into groups, each defending his group against competitors, and mating with the cows in the group); feed mainly on benthic invertebrates, primarily bivalves (clams)

Distribution - often winters in polynyas, particularly in northern Baffin Bay; some of Baffin Bay population migrate through Lancaster Sound to central Arctic in spring; most animals are in Hudson Bay, Foxe Basin, and Hudson Strait; many stay in Foxe Basin and northwest Hudson Bay over winter, others migrate to the east end of Hudson Strait; rare in the western Arctic

Sensitivity - aircrafts may cause stampedes into the water by all the walruses at a haul-out site, which can result in calves being crushed; reactions of walruses on ice-pans to ships included waking up, head raises and entering the water

Note - Young walrus are sometimes eaten by polar bears, but adults have few natural enemies. Walrus were actively hunted by Inuit at one time, but demand for carved ivory from their tusks has lessened in the last few decades, and hunting is now less intense.

 [Walrus thumbnail] Walrus (41 KB) Lancaster Sound Area
Distribution Maps:

Spring (Ice Scenario 1)
Spring (Ice Scenario 2)
Spring (Ice Scenario 3)
Summer Scenario
Coronation Gulf Area
Distribution Maps:
This species is not sensitive in this area, therefore no maps are presented.

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