The animals that occupy the artic regions have learned to survive the furry of Mother Nature, but still must compete for survival with the top predator of the artic, the polar bear. Polar bears inhabit the circumpolar arctic regions. They live near their primary food source in the ice packs of the artic. The bears inhabit the circumpolar North, which would consist of Canada, Alaska, Greenland, and other regions in the artic. The temperatures range between -40°F to -50°F in the winters and summer temperatures stay around -29°F.
“Loss of ice limits their distribution, rain events can collapse lairs, and low snow years can mean seal pups are born in the open, where they become easy prey for arctic foxes, several bird species, and polar bears” (PolarBearsInternational, n.d.). This has resulted in reproductive failure in some areas for Ice Seals, meaning that Polar bears are not only losing their habitat, but their food source as well, causing them to either starve, or freeze to death. With the decreased population of Ice Seals, and the inefficient hunting methods, they are resorting to terrestrial sources of food (PolarBearsInternational, n.d.). If Polar bears don’t starve, or freeze to death, then some Polar bears end up drowning trying to swim across the gap from the ice to the shore. With the gap increasing, the conditions of the water have become hazardous for the Polar bears, making it harder for them to journey across.
If the bears are starving they eat the whole seal; otherwise, they just eat the blubber and entrails for protein (National Parks Service). The bears live in Canada or above. They rarely go below Canada since it is too warm there. The giant bears have thick white fur, which helps the bear survive the cold, and it has a thick layer of blubber all around its body where it stores up food when needed. They can go with out food for 2 weeks if necessary (Larsen 7).
When a bear climbs on an ice floe, it shakes itself off because it is trying to prevent ice from forming on its fur (22-23). Because of climate change and hunting of polar bears are now becoming an endangered species which is affecting the food chain. We can fix this by going green, banning polar bear hunting and keep creating these new hybrid bears that are mixed with griz... ... middle of paper ... ... pushing grizzlies north. This summer marked the most drastic melting of Arctic sea ice to date. Biologists fear that this will promote the development of hybrids.
For now, all we know is our footprints are leaving a mark behind us, and it is affecting the polar bears who might not make it much longer unless something is changed. The roller coaster climates, oil and gas activities in the ocean around polar bear populations, and polar bears doing all they can to survive. Humans are responsible for what the future holds for the beautiful white fluffy polar bear.
Over 200,000 years ago, glaciers covered much of the earth. Hungry brown bears, probably isolated in the glaciers near Siberia and looking for something to eat, discovered seals. The first bears probably just ate seal carcasses that washed ashore because that was their hunting capability at the time. Within 75,000 years (a short period in evolutionary time), rapid changes took place so bears could survive on ice, be an aggressive hunter and reproduce in a frigid land. That new species, the early polar bear, arrived during the mid-Pleistocene period.
In 2002 the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, which has been in the Artic for 3,000 years, split in half. (http://www.brighthub.com). The shelf keep braking into smaller pieces, which also serves as natural home to polar bears. If the shelf continues to break then the polar bears in the artic will eventually won’t have a habitat to live in. This is also affecting the food that they eat.
Other names for the polar bear include the Inuit word "nanook", and the Norwegian name of Isbjorn which means "ice bear." * Polar bears are members of the bear family Ursidae. They are a carnivorous bear which can be found throughout the Arctic region where they rely on sea ice to sustain their hunting activities. Canada hosts approximately 60% of the polar bear population. Other areas inhabited by polar bears include Alas... ... middle of paper ... ...t of Biological Sciences with the University of Alberta.
The Endangered Species Act was established in 1973 to protect endangered species. Climate change, caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, has serious consequences for many species, but it is a great concern for polar bears. Polar bear populations are susceptible to climate change, hunting, and habitat alteration. They are the world’s largest terrestrial carnivore and because of their strength polar bears are the symbol of the Arctic. Their physical characteristics make polar bears a perfect fit for the arctic.
Habitat Polar bears prefer to live in extremely cold artic climates. They live only in the Northern Hemisphere, on the arctic ice cap, and they spend most of their time on coastal areas. Polar bears are widely spread in Canada, extending from the northern arctic islands south to the Hudson Bay area. They are also found in Greenland, on islands off the shore of Norway, on the northern coast of the former Soviet Union, and on the northern and northwestern coasts of Alaska in the United States. Physical Features The polar bear is one the largest members of the bear family.