Polar bears ‘running out of food’

Image copyright Anthony Pagano/USGS Image caption The crew tracked 9 solitary female polar bears over 8-12 days

Moreover, local weather change seems to be having dramatic results on the Arctic sea-ice, forcing polar bears to move larger distances as they hunt, and making it more difficult for them to trap prey.

Symbol copyright Athony Pagano/USGS Image caption Polar bears use the sea ice to seek seals and, because it diminishes, need to shuttle further to search out their food

In Spring of 2014, 2015, and 2016, Anthony Pagano, a researcher at the School of California Santa Cruz and his colleagues, set out to trace the polar bears’ searching and survival during this vital season. They captured 9 females on the sea-ice of the Beaufort Sea and measured the metabolic charges of every endure the use of blood and urine samples.

additionally they equipped the undergo with the GPS-camera collars, to record and picture their process.

“We found that polar bears even have so much upper energy demands than predicted. they want to be catching a lot of seals,” Mr Pagano explained.

The Extent of Arctic sea-ice, as measured at its minimum in September, is reducing at a price of about 14% consistent with decade, that’s most probably decreasing polar bears’ access to seals. And their plight might be exacerbated by the need to modify hunting strategies with the seasons.

within the spring, the researchers explained polar bears are most commonly preying on juvenile seals. However later in the year, after the bears’ lengthy summer fast, the ones younger seals are older and wiser, which means polar bears aren’t capable of trap as many.

“It Is idea that bears may capture a pair monthly in the fall, in comparison to 5 to ten per 30 days in the spring and early summer season,” Mr Pagano mentioned.

“We now have the era to be informed how they’re moving at the ice, their job patterns, and their energy wishes, so we will be able to higher understand the consequences of these adjustments we’re seeing in the sea-ice.”

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