February 27, 2013
Happy Polar Bear Day!
Well, this post is a little sad because the future of polar bears is bleak. One of my friends went on a trip to the Artic with National Geographic and has been advocating for polar bears since she returned. The biggest issue is climate change. The following excerpt is from WWF about polar bear habitat and climate change.
Polar bears depend on sea ice as a platform from which to hunt seals, rest and breed. In the southern range of polar bears, the shorter sea ice season has decreased the amount of time bears can hunt for their prey. Sea ice break-up forces them to spend the summer without significant feeding, relying on their fat stores from the previous summer to survive. Many polar bears now suffer from malnutrition and others face starvation, especially females with cubs.
Traditional prey species may be less accessible in a new sea ice environment, and seals that use the ice are also predicted to fare poorly in a warming Arctic.
Climate change is also resulting in more habitat fragmentation, creating more opportunities for oil and gas development and increased shipping.
Here is a link to a pretty amazing article from National Geographic. Amazing and horrifying stuff.
If you want to help save the bears, you can go to this website and send a message to the President to urge action for climate change legislation and to help protect the remaining polar bears.