The Walrus from Space project are looking for keen nature lovers to help track walrus populations. 

The conservation group are seeking "citizen scientists" to analyse satellite images of the animals from the Arctic from the comfort of their own homes.

Scientists hope that this will give them a better understanding of how global warming is affecting them and how many of the species are left in the wild. 

The international project is hoping to recruit half a million volunteers to help build a census of Atlantic walrus and walrus from the Laptev Sea.

There are thousands of images to examine which is why it needs the public to become "walrus detectives" and report any of their sightings to WWF and the British Antarctic Survey.

Rod Downie, chief polar adviser at WWF, said to the Guardian: “What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay there; the climate crisis is a global problem, bigger than any person, species or region.

"Ahead of hosting this year’s global climate summit, the UK must raise its ambition and keep all of its climate promises – for the sake of the walrus, and the world.”

The project aims to track the species over five years so that scientists can determine the reality of the climate crisis and predict its impact on the mammals over time and over thousands of miles from Russia, Greenland, Norway and Canada.

We still know relatively little about the species except from the fact they prefer remote areas and rely on sea ice in the likes of the Arctic Ocean.

In other words, the kinds of habitat that are under threat as a result of global warming.

WWF describes the Arctic as "a vast and changing place" with rising acid levels threatening walrus' food source of molluscs, sea snails and clams as well as increased development bringing in industrial ships.

Hannah Cubaynes, a research associate at the British Antarctic Survey, said: “Assessing walrus populations by traditional methods is very difficult as they live in extremely remote areas, spend much of their time on the sea ice and move around a lot.

"Satellite images can solve this problem as they can survey huge tracts of coastline to assess where walrus are and help us count the ones that we find.

“However, doing that for all the Atlantic and Laptev walrus will take huge amounts of imagery, too much for a single scientist or small team, so we need help from thousands of citizen scientists to help us learn more about this iconic animal.”


How to get involved in the Walrus from Space research project


You can register to be involved in the conservation project via the WWF website. 

You just need access to a computer or tablet and an internet connection to take part.

WWF recommends that the minimum age for participating without adult supervision is 10 years old.

But all volunteers under the age of 13 need to have parental consent to use the platform. 

Once you create an account, you will be guided through a short tutorial that will explain the basics to you.

Then , there are only three simple steps that you need to follow:

  1. Identify a Walrus 
  2. Count the number of walrus you see
  3. Help secure the future by reporting the walrus sighting


For more information about the project, visit the WWF website.