The colossal walrus enjoys sunrise on the island Moffen in Svalbard. The walrus basks in the warmth of the morning sun. Its body is a silhouette, and its tusks are visible against the blue background of the sea and colorful sky. The magnificent sunrise created the perfect backdrop for the walrus. We found the walruses on the island while walking on foot.
We were arriving on Moffen Island in mid-September right when it was allowed again to set foot on that island. Moffen island is protected as it plays an essential role in the re-establishment of the species. Between 15th May until 15th September, we only can approach that island with a minimum of 500 meters.
Despite the island’s small size, Moffen has some exciting wildlife. Although it is difficult to see during the times, you have to keep a distance from it. Arctic terns breed in big groups, and there are a few pairs of Sabine’s gull, which is extremely rare in Svalbard. Walrus like to feed in the shallow waters and have a resting place to relax on Moffen. In the 17th century, the island was a slaughtering ground of walruses.
The walrus is a species considered as vulnerable on the IUCN list.