Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) predation on adult thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) at Coats Island, Nunavut, Canada
AbstractAlthough the diet of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) is considered varied, records of walrus consuming marine birds are rare in the published literature. In 2001 and 2002 we observed walrus foraging on adult thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) at Coats Island in Nunavut, Canada. Approximately 46% of the attacks on murres were successful, and as many as 67 murres may have been killed in one day in August 2002. All soft parts of the murres were sucked out, with carcasses of only bones, feathers and skin left floating on the water. The extent to which predation on seabirds by walrus occurs across the eastern Arctic is unknown, but it could represent an important source of mortality for murres at some breeding colonies.
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