Walrus Habitat and distribution

You will find the walrus living in areas where it is very cold. They are found in the Arctic Ocean as well as the sub Arctic regions. They tend to stay in the shallow parts of the water. They tend to feed at the bottom of the water they are in and so it needs to be no more than 265 feet deep.

When walruses are in captivity, every effort is made to try to simulate the same type of natural habitat for them. It can be very expensive though to be able to do this. Yet one of the reasons it is done is to ensure that they walruses have the very best chances of survival. They are very intelligent and they do adapt well to some of the changes in captivity though. One of the main ones is that they aren’t able to migrate as they normally would.

They are also known to spend half of their time on the layers of ice instead of actually inside of the cold waters. The average temperatures where they reside are from 5 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They are known to migrate very long distances annually. It can be from 1,000 miles to close to 1,800 miles according to experts. This has been verified with tracking devices on some of the walruses.

Due to the fact that walruses tend to be in large herds, it may give the impression that they don’t have a large enough habitat. When you see pictures of them in that natural environment they will be standing extremely close to each other. This isn’t due to limited space but a conscious choice of this type of animal.

They crave social interaction and being in such close proximity to each other offers it. Researchers also believe that this serves as a type of security from predators as well. They tend to form extremely large groups and sub groups. They can have more than 1,000 of them in a given herd.

Home range of walruses.

Walruses in northern Alaska.

When the natural habitat is threatened by parasites or a type of virus it can result in high numbers of them being wiped out. These types of problems are very common among walruses. Since they are in constant contact with each other it doesn’t take very long before it is quickly spreading to hundreds of them within a given herd.

The biggest threat to the walrus and the natural habitat is due to humans. They continue to take over some of the areas where the walrus lives. Even having noisy machines or airplanes flying over them can create stress and problems for them. The constant presence of it can result in them not breeding, not eating, or trampling others in order to get to the water for safety.

The biggest threat to their natural habitat though is due to global warming. This process seems to make it harder for them to find food. It also takes away the layers of ice that they are able to rest on. Even when the ice is there, it can get thinner so that when a heavy walrus gets on it the ice breaks.

The warmer temperatures can affect the natural ability of the walrus to migrate as they normally would too. Their bodies may not realize that it is time to get moving due to the warm weather instead of it being colder. This can result in them being without the food supply that they need to survive in the winter months. It can also make them vulnerable like whales and polar bears. That is because their other sources of food will be less available during some months.