Walrus Walrus
Conservation & Research

Legal Protection for Walruses

  • Commercial walrus hunting was banned in Canada in 1931. A U.S. Department of Commerce regulation in 1937 and The Congressional Walrus Act of 1941 banned all U.S. commercial hunting, allowing only native subsistence hunting.
  • The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
    • The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 made it illegal to hunt or harass any marine mammal in U.S. waters.
    • The MMPA does allow for certain exceptions: native subsistence hunting; collecting or temporarily restraining marine mammals for research, education, and public display; and taking restricted number of marine mammals incidentally in the course of fishing operations.
    • The primary objective of the MMPA is to maintain the health and stability of the marine ecosystem and to obtain and maintain an optimum sustainable population of marine mammals.
    • According to MMPA, all walruses in U.S. waters are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • IUCN/The World Conservation Union.
    • IUCN/The World Conservation Union is a worldwide conservation organization. This organization links together government agencies, non-government agencies, and independent states to encourage a worldwide approach to conservation. The walrus is listed in the IUCN/The World Conservation Union's lower risk/least concern category.
  • The Convention in International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).
    • The Convention in International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) is an international treaty developed in 1973 to regulate trade in certain wildlife species. Walruses are listed under CITES Appendix III, at the request of Canada. Appendix III species are included at the request of a nation that already regulates trade in the species and that needs the cooperation of other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation. International trade in specimens of species listed in this Appendix is allowed only on presentation of the appropriate permits or certificates

SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund

  • The non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund (SWBGCF) works on behalf of wildlife and habitats worldwide. The goal of the SWBGCF is to encourage sustainable solutions by supporting critical conservation initiatives worldwide.
    • The SWBGCF conducts grant awards twice each year and anticipates funding for 2005 to approach $700,000. Selected projects must be science-based, solution-driven and community-oriented - attributes needed to achieve effective and long-term conservation success. Groups working on walrus conservation projects are invited to apply for a SWBGCF grant. Projects are carefully selected by a diverse mix of wildlife experts, scientists, business leaders and educators.
    • The SWBGCF accepts donations to support conservation projects in the U.S. and around the world. 100% of donations go directly to selected projects.
  • Scientists continue to study walruses.

Marine Zoological Parks

  • Having walruses at marine zoological parks provides the opportunity for the public to learn, up-close, about these animals and how human activities may impact their survival.
  • In the protected environment of a marine zoological park, scientists can examine aspects of walrus biology that are difficult or impossible to study in the wild.
  • SeaWorld occasionally cares for orphaned walrus calves with the permission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.