Over the last 20 years, the application of molecular tools in biological and archaeological research has increased concurrently with technological advances. This has provided new possibilities for conducting genetic, stable isotope and fatty acid analyses on modern and historical samples, to improve our understanding of Atlantic walrus biology and demography. The use of palaeontological, archaeological and historical remains, moreover, shows great promise for disentangling the impact of anthropogenic effects and environmental change on Atlantic walrus populations. Such analyses have the potential to provide insights on particular aspects of the behavioural ecology, demography and life-history of Atlantic walruses, including changes in the migratory routes, population size, dispersal rates, choice of haul-out sites, foraging/diet and mating behaviour, in response to particular environmental or climatic conditions, as well as past and present human activities such as hunting. From an archaeological and historical point of view, much can also be learned about the role of walruses to past human societies, and even historical ivory trading networks and their links to regional hunting grounds can be reconstructed through time using molecular data from bones and teeth. Gaining these past insights will play a crucial role in designing future conservation and management strategies for Atlantic walruses and ensuring sustainable futures for humans who still rely upon them.
|The atlantic walrus : Multidisciplinary Insights into Human-Animal Interactions
|Xénia Weber, Morten Tange Olsen, Peter Jordan, Sean P.A. Desjardins
|Udgivet - jun. 2021