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Recovery Strategy for the Atlantic Walrus

Critical Habitat and Conservation Approach

3.1 Identification of the Species’ Critical Habitat

The extirpation of this population and lack of information on historical ecology or habitat use of the Northwest Atlantic population of Atlantic walrus, makes it impossible to identify critical habitat for this population at this time. 

4. Conservation Approach

Although recovery is deemed not feasible at this time, there is a very slight possibility that natural recovery based on migrants from the extant eastern Arctic population could occur.   Individuals observed in eastern Canadian waters, probably strays from the eastern Arctic population, have not supported natural recovery to date, and given the apparently reduced status of the eastern Arctic population adequate out-migration to support recovery of a southern population appears unlikely, but the possibility does exist.  Effective conservation action for the eastern Arctic population would be critical to maximizing the potential for re-establishment of the Northwest Atlantic population from migrants.

Since the Northwest Atlantic population of Atlantic walrus is listed as “extirpated” on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act, killing or harming individuals of this population is forbidden.  These SARA prohibitions would support natural recovery of this population.

Conservation action to maintain health of coastal and marine environments in eastern Canada would help to provide conditions for recovery of Northwest Atlantic walrus, should natural migration be adequate to support this.  

Whether this population does re-establish or not, it is still possible and important to educate Canadians about the species that we have lost, such as the Atlantic walrus (Northwest Atlantic population).