World Wide Fund for Nature creates new walrus tracking program
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), in partnership with the British Antarctic Survey team, asks volunteers to become ‘walrus detectives’ and explore the Arctic at home for their new ‘Walrus from the Space,’ program.
WWF states as climate change causes warmer temperatures, melting ice, and depleted food sources in the Arctic region, walrus behavior changes drastically. Due to the remote regions walrus occupy, in-person data collection is both challenging and expensive, resulting in the creation of the Walrus in Space program.
Volunteers worldwide can make an account, undergo a brief tutorial, and begin searching nearly 600,000 satellite images for Atlantic and Laptev walrus populations. The collected images span thousands of miles and include Greenland, Russia, Norway, and Canada territories. The program allows volunteers to examine an image, toggle several viewing settings, and zoom in on specific areas. From there, the user selects one of three options: ‘walrus present,’ ‘no walrus present,’ or ‘poor image.’
Through the program, the WWF hopes to get the help of half a million volunteers to collect movement and population data, with the ultimate goal of creating a census of walrus species over the next five years.
For more information on Walrus from Space, go to Walrus from Space.
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