Polar Bear's Situation Worse Than Previously Thought

With food becoming tougher to find in their melting world, Polar Bears are in a worse situation than originally thought.

Polar bears could be sliding towards extinction faster than previously feared, with the animals facing an increasing struggle to find enough food to survive as climate change steadily transforms their environment.

New research has unearthed fresh insights into polar bear habits, revealing that the Arctic predators have far higher metabolisms than previously thought. This means they need more prey, primarily seals, to meet their energy demands at a time when receding sea ice is making hunting increasingly difficult for the animals.

A study of nine polar bears over a three-year period by the US Geological Survey and UC Santa Cruz found that the animals require at least one adult, or three juvenile, ringed seals every 10 days to sustain them. Five of the nine bears were unable to achieve this during the research, resulting in plummeting body weight – as much as 20kg during a 10-day study period.

“We found a feast and famine lifestyle – if they missed out on seals it had a pretty dramatic effect on them,” said Anthony Pagano, a USGS biologist who led the research, published in Science.

Photo: Alexandra Rose/Unsplash

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