dendroica
dendroica:

Polar Bear Diet Changes as Sea Ice Melts

A series of papers recently published by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History suggests that polar bears in the warming Arctic are turning to alternate food sources. As Arctic sea ice melts earlier and freezes later each year, polar bears have a limited amount of time to hunt their historically preferred prey—ringed seal pups—and must spend more time on land….
In the first paper, published in spring 2013 in the journal Polar Ecology, the researchers provide, for the first time, data and video of polar bears pursuing, catching, and eating adult and juvenile lesser snow geese during mid-to-late summer, when the geese are replacing their primary flight feathers…

(read more:  American Mus. of Natural History)

dendroica:

Polar Bear Diet Changes as Sea Ice Melts

A series of papers recently published by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History suggests that polar bears in the warming Arctic are turning to alternate food sources. As Arctic sea ice melts earlier and freezes later each year, polar bears have a limited amount of time to hunt their historically preferred prey—ringed seal pups—and must spend more time on land….

In the first paper, published in spring 2013 in the journal Polar Ecology, the researchers provide, for the first time, data and video of polar bears pursuing, catching, and eating adult and juvenile lesser snow geese during mid-to-late summer, when the geese are replacing their primary flight feathers…

(read more:  American Mus. of Natural History)

USFWS Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:
The bottom of a polar bear’s paws are covered with fur, and its claws are short and stocky, so paws and claws don’t usually leave a clear track… unless the bear walks in soft snow or mud. Front paws are about 6” wide and 9” long—back ones 9” wide and 13” long. A polar bear left this detailed front paw print in the beach mud along the north coast of Arctic Refuge. 
(via: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

The bottom of a polar bear’s paws are covered with fur, and its claws are short and stocky, so paws and claws don’t usually leave a clear track… unless the bear walks in soft snow or mud. Front paws are about 6” wide and 9” long—back ones 9” wide and 13” long. A polar bear left this detailed front paw print in the beach mud along the north coast of Arctic Refuge.

(via: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

mothernaturenetwork

wolverxne:

'I was on a razor's edge' by: Paul Souders - Hudson Bay, Churchill, Canada

It was the moment he had spent two cold, grueling, and solitary weeks waiting for. But when Paul Souders finally came face to face with a polar bear his patience paid off beautifully - as these stunning snaps show. The 51-year-old photographer managed to keep his cool to capture these incredible close-up images of a swimming polar bear. Standing in his 11-foot inflatable zodiac, Souders drifted up to the female bear he spotted roaming on the ice capped shores of Churchill, Canada.

He followed her as she paddled up the coast until she was relaxed enough to venture right up to his boat. Wildlife photographer Souders, from Seattle, USA, said: ‘It took her some time to settle down. I really felt like I had to earn her trust. ’I didn’t feel threatened, but I knew that I was on a razor’s edge - I had no margin for error.’I watched her reaction very closely looking for any sign of aggression.’

scienceyoucanlove

awkwardsituationist:

the record for the lowest arctic ice coverage (at 3.41 million square kilometers) and the largest melt of the greenland ice sheet (at 97% melted on july 12) was set in 2012.

"it’s a fact that early sea ice breakup, late ice freeze-up and the overall reduction in ice pack could erase half of a population in a single year." - university of alberta professor andrew derocher, co author “rapid ecosystem change and polar bear conservation.”

photos by anna henly, flip nicklen and ole jorgen liodeden

Feeling the heat this summer? You’re not alone. 
Alaska’s polar bears are going without food for longer and longer due to rising temperatures and rapid Arctic ice melt. Obama’s recent plan to address climate change offers hope, but billionaire Big Polluters are trying to block the Environmental Protection Agency from setting carbon pollution limits. Polar bears can’t keep waiting!
Read More: National Wildlife Federation 
Take Action: here

Feeling the heat this summer? You’re not alone.

Alaska’s polar bears are going without food for longer and longer due to rising temperatures and rapid Arctic ice melt. Obama’s recent plan to address climate change offers hope, but billionaire Big Polluters are trying to block the Environmental Protection Agency from setting carbon pollution limits. Polar bears can’t keep waiting!

Read More: National Wildlife Federation

Take Action: here

Playful Polar Bears
Polar Bears jostle each other at the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo in St-Felicien, Quebec, on October 31, 2011. According to Environment Canada, Canada is home to around 15,000 of the estimated 20,000 polar bears in the world. The U.S. (Alaska), Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway are the other four countries where polar bears can be found.
While these bears do live in captivity, it can be argued they might have a better life than their wild brethren, who, thanks to climate change, are being forced to move due to melting ice. As sea ice decreases, the bears swim farther to find suitable habitats, and food is harder to come by.
Some have even turned to cannibalism.
(photo: Mathieu Belanger/Reuters)              (via: Takepart.org)

Playful Polar Bears

Polar Bears jostle each other at the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo in St-Felicien, Quebec, on October 31, 2011. According to Environment Canada, Canada is home to around 15,000 of the estimated 20,000 polar bears in the world. The U.S. (Alaska), Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway are the other four countries where polar bears can be found.

While these bears do live in captivity, it can be argued they might have a better life than their wild brethren, who, thanks to climate change, are being forced to move due to melting ice. As sea ice decreases, the bears swim farther to find suitable habitats, and food is harder to come by.

Some have even turned to cannibalism.

(photo: Mathieu Belanger/Reuters)              (via: Takepart.org)

CITES voted against protecting polar bears on an international level, here’s a story from a couple of days ago (3/5/13), in the Guardian UK, telling you why they should have…
____________________________________
US and Russia unite in bid to strengthen protection for polar bears
Proposal to ban international commercial trade in polar bear products sets up showdown with Canada over key Cites vote
by Damien Carrington
A fight to protect polar bears from Arctic hunters has led cold war foes the US and Russia to unite against Canada ahead of a key international vote this week.
The bitter row is over the 600 or so of the polar species killed each year by Canadian hunters, most of which are exported as bear skin rugs, fangs or paws. Diplomatic relations became even frostier on Tuesday, when the European Union attempted to block the US proposal to outlaw the export trade, which is strongly supported by Russia.
The US is adamant the trade is unsustainable. “The best scientific evidence says two-thirds of the polar bear population will be gone by mid-century, so how can you have a sustainable commercial trade?” asked Dan Ashe, head of the US delegation to the 178-nation meeting of the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) being held in Thailand.
Canada, home to about three-quarters of the world’s 20,000-25,000 remaining polar bears, is the only country that allows the export of polar bear products. Its delegates argue there is “insufficient scientific evidence” that polar bear populations will decline by more than half in the coming decades and that trade is “not detrimental to the species”. They say hunting and trading in polar bears is “integrally linked” with Inuit subsistence and culture…
(read more: Guardian UK)                 (photo: Paul J Richards)

CITES voted against protecting polar bears on an international level, here’s a story from a couple of days ago (3/5/13), in the Guardian UK, telling you why they should have…

____________________________________

US and Russia unite in bid to strengthen protection for polar bears

Proposal to ban international commercial trade in polar bear products sets up showdown with Canada over key Cites vote

by Damien Carrington

A fight to protect polar bears from Arctic hunters has led cold war foes the US and Russia to unite against Canada ahead of a key international vote this week.

The bitter row is over the 600 or so of the polar species killed each year by Canadian hunters, most of which are exported as bear skin rugs, fangs or paws. Diplomatic relations became even frostier on Tuesday, when the European Union attempted to block the US proposal to outlaw the export trade, which is strongly supported by Russia.

The US is adamant the trade is unsustainable. “The best scientific evidence says two-thirds of the polar bear population will be gone by mid-century, so how can you have a sustainable commercial trade?” asked Dan Ashe, head of the US delegation to the 178-nation meeting of the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) being held in Thailand.

Canada, home to about three-quarters of the world’s 20,000-25,000 remaining polar bears, is the only country that allows the export of polar bear products. Its delegates argue there is “insufficient scientific evidence” that polar bear populations will decline by more than half in the coming decades and that trade is “not detrimental to the species”. They say hunting and trading in polar bears is “integrally linked” with Inuit subsistence and culture…

(read more: Guardian UK)                 (photo: Paul J Richards)

Protection for Polar Bears
The United States has published a Federal Register Notice announcing the availability of tentative U.S. positions on the species proposals, draft resolutions and decisions submitted by other countries and the CITES Secretariat for consideration at CoP16 (the convention to discuss protection of threatened and endangered species).
 To read the notice and learn more, visit http://1.usa.gov/XeKwGP . 
(Photo Credit: USFWS)

Protection for Polar Bears

The United States has published a Federal Register Notice announcing the availability of tentative U.S. positions on the species proposals, draft resolutions and decisions submitted by other countries and the CITES Secretariat for consideration at CoP16 (the convention to discuss protection of threatened and endangered species).

To read the notice and learn more, visit http://1.usa.gov/XeKwGP .

(Photo Credit: USFWS)