Genetic diversity of historical Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Bjørnøya and Håøya (Tusenøyane), Svalbard, Norway
Walruses were on the verge of extinction in Svalbard prior to becoming totally protected in 1952. The present study attempts to determine the number of walruses in Svalbard in summer based on aerial, ground and boat surveys. In 1993, 741 walruses were observed, almost all of which were males. This population, which is shared with the neighbouring Russian archipelago Franz Joseph Land, is believed to consist of an equal number of females. We therefore conclude that the shared population consists of a minimum of about 1450 walruses older than 2 years and an unknown number of calves.