The Hauling-Out Behavior of the Pacific Walrus.
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV BALTIMORE MD
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Important questions on the natural history of marine mammals need to be answered before management can be placed on a more certain basis. We investigated one aspect of the natural history of Pacific walruses, Odobenus rosmarus divergens. We concentrated on walrus hauling-out behavior and the associated environmental factors which influence this behavior. We employed primarily visual photography and infrared imaging in order to gain new insights into the relationship between behavior and the environment. High-resolution color film proved to be the best remote sensing technique for distinguishing walruses from their haulout areas and for counting the animals. Infrared imaging was much better for detecting small groups of animals, particularly when the ice was broken up into many small floes. Most remote sensing flights were conducted at an altitude of 300 to 400 m since this altitude gave the best resolution for counting animals on the photographs.
- Biological Oceanography