1534 to present day

  • 1534

    On his first voyage to find a northeastern passage to India, Jacques Cartier reached the Magdalen Islands and spotted a large group of walruses. Back in the day, sailors called them sea cows.

  • 1700

    During this period, Atlantic walruses were hunted excessively by European settlers for their oil and tusks. They will gradually disappear from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

  • 1850

    The Atlantic walrus is officially declared extinct in the Maritimes due to over-hunting by European settlers.

  • 2019

    There are around 22,000 walruses in Canada. They live in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Sea, James Bay and the Labrador coast. According to biologists, walruses are unlikely to return to the Maritimes, as the current population prefers colder climates.

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