18 April 2022

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WWF is a global conservation charity working for a world where people and nature can thrive together for generations to come.

Born out of passion and science, WWF has been at the forefront of global efforts to protect wildlife and the natural world for over 60 years.

During that time, WWF has secured vital victories for our planet, including:

  • Protecting iconic wild species, including rhinos, gorillas and tigers;
  • Winning protection for vital habitats which people and wildlife depend on;
  • Embedding sustainability into mainstream business and helped start a transformation in the way forests and fisheries are managed;
  • Pushing issues like climate change, sustainable development and the illegal wildlife trade up the international agenda, holding governments and businesses to account, to secure action for our planet.

Thanks to the incredible support from players, WWF has now been able to launch a project to help safeguard the future of an iconic arctic species: the walrus.  The project asks for the public’s help to search for walrus in thousands of satellite images taken from space, with the aim of learning more about how walrus will be impacted by the climate crisis.

It’s hoped half a million people worldwide will join the new Walrus from Space research project, a census of Atlantic walrus and walrus from the Laptev Sea. 

Walrus are facing the reality of the climate crisis: their Arctic home is warming almost three times faster than the rest of the world and roughly 13% of summer sea ice is disappearing per decade.  WWF is working with the British Antarctic Survey to better understand these Arctic animals, using space satellites to capture thousands of high-resolution images of walrus congregated on more than 25,000km2 of Arctic coastline - an area larger than Wales. 

From the comfort of their own homes, aspiring conservationists around the world can study the satellite pictures online, spot areas where walrus haul out onto land, and then count them. The data collected in this census of Atlantic and Laptev walrus will give scientists a clearer picture of how each population is doing – without disturbing the animals. The data will also help inform management decisions aimed at conservation efforts for the species.  

This project will build upon the knowledge of Indigenous communities, using satellite technology to provide an up-to-date count of Atlantic and Laptev walrus populations.  

Aspiring conservationists can help protect the species by going to where they can register to participate, and then be guided through a training module before joining the walrus census.

Over £19million has been raised for WWF-UK thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Photo Credit: © Richard Barrett / WWF-UK