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HomeTechnology NewsScientists need your help counting walruses from space

Scientists need your help counting walruses from space

The World Wildlife Fund and the British Antarctic Survey are conducting a walrus census, and they need your help.

Organizations hope that you (and thousands of others) will look at satellite images of walruses in their Arctic habitat and count how many you see. The Laptev and Atlantic walrus count will give scientists a better idea of ​​how populations are dealing with climate change and melting sea ice.

“Assessing walrus populations with traditional methods is very difficult, as they live in extremely remote areas, spend much of their time on sea ice and move around a lot. Satellite imagery can solve this problem, ”said Hannah Cubaynes, associate researcher with the British Antarctic Survey, in a Press release. “However, doing that for all the Atlantic and Laptev walruses will require a large number of images, too much for a single scientist or a small team.”

That’s where you can help. WWF and BAS expect a whopping 500,000 people to join the effort.

Scientists are concerned about the Arctic and Laptev walruses, WWF said, because they use sea ice to rest and have babies. As the ice clears, they worry that the walruses have fewer places to rest and that they burn more energy searching for food that is also increasingly rare.

They may also be forced to land with less sea ice around. “Overcrowded beaches can have fatal consequences; Walruses are easily scared, and when scared they stampede into the water, trampling each other in their panic, ”said WWF.

Anyone interested in helping can get more information and register to participate here. All you need is a computer or tablet and access to the Internet. Children can participate with parental help and/or permission.

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