In an event that has occurred annually since 2007, Pacific walruses are coming ashore near the Inupiat Eskimo village of Point Lay located on Alaska's northwest coast. About 1,000 individuals have gathered on the island so far, and last year 35,000 walruses hauled out there. Traditionally, walruses prefer resting on sea ice which allows them to look out for predators, but due to warming Arctic temperatures and receding sea ice the walruses have begun hauling out on the coast. Disturbances from airplanes and visitors are concerning for the walruses because they are prone to stampedes which can kill the smallest individuals. The village is working with US Fish and Wildlife Service to discourage visitors from approaching the haul out site.
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