The results from a study conducted by the US Geological Survey and UC Santa Cruz have brought terrible news for polar bears. They are in greater danger of extinction than previously thought. The rate at which their population is diminishing is quickly accelerating. Naomi Round reports.
Polar bears are finding it increasingly difficult to procure nourishment. Melting ice caps caused by climate change and global warming means that their habitat is undergoing serious and damaging changes.
Recent studies conducted on polar bears have found that their metabolism works much faster than experts initially thought. Polar bears are not especially mobile and when moving around they do so slowly… but with the little moving, they do they quickly burn through their energy supplies. Experts who carried out the most recent study observed nine different polar bears over a period. It is believed that a polar bear needs to ingest an adult seal or three young ones to sustain them for ten days.Many of the polar bears they monitored didn’t find seals.
Anthony Pagano, one of the USGS biologists who led the study, said, “We found a feast and famine lifestyle – if they missed out on seals it had a pretty dramatic effect on them”. When the polar bears didn’t get sufficient food, they quickly loss considerable weight.
The situation is becoming quite worrying. The temperatures in the Arctic are increasing at double the rate of the global average. The ice caps are melting at a fast rate and polar bears are having to live their own icy habitats to search for food on land.