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Climate Change and Endagered Species

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What is the first marine mammal added to the endangered species list attributed primarily to climate change? As climate change melts the ice, it is projected that two thirds of polar bears will disappear by 2050. This drastic decline in the polar bear is occurring in our lifetime, which is but a miniscule fraction of the time polar bears have explored the vast Arctic seas (National Wildlife Federation, 2014).

Unfortunately, that is the polar bear (Defenders of Wildlife, 2013). The climate change endangers the species, so much so that the animals have become one of the icons that conservationists use to illustrate the threat posed by climate change (The Huffington Post, 2014). You cannot protect a species from the impacts of climate change without addressing the issue of climate change, itself (Defenders of Wildlife, 2013). Large carnivores are extreme indicators of ecosystem health (WWF, n.d.). “As the Arctic sea ice melts, the polar bears lose their primary hunting ground — not to mention their most plentiful and nutritious prey. It remains a question whether they will be able to adapt to changing conditions and survive” (The Huffington Post, 2014). A polar bear at risk is frequently a sign of something wrong somewhere in the arctic marine ecosystem! A polar bear at risk is frequently a sign of something wrong somewhere in the arctic marine ecosystem (WWF, n.d.)!

The Arctic Ocean and the connected frozen seas are home to the largest and most predatory of the bear family. Every bear alive today evolved 22 million years ago from a common ancestor known as the Ursavus of Asia. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) came from a group of brown bears (Ursus arctos) over 200,000 years ago, which became isolated from the other brown ...

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... phytoplankton to fish, the sea ice is an integral part of the Arctic marine ecosystem” (Derocher, 2014).

Bear Planet. (2012). Polar bears and global warming. http://www.bearplanet.org/polarbear.shtml.

Defenders of Wildlife. (2013). Polar bears and climate change. Retrieved from http://www.defenders.org/polar-bear/climate-change

Works Cited

National wildlife federation—global warming and polar bears—2014--http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Threats-to-Wildlife/Global-Warming/Effects-on-Wildlife-and-Habitat/Polar-Bears.aspx

Siegal, K. (2014). One critical reason to cut global warming pollution now: The amazing polar bear. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kassie-siegel/polar-bears-climate_b_1095121.html

WWF. (N.D.). Threats to polar bears. Retrieved from http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/arctic/wildlife/polar_bear/threats/
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