Monday, May 12, 2008

Tensions Rise as Polar Bear Decision Looms

Dr. Amstrup is concerned anew by what he’s seeing, he said in an Alaska Public Radio interview a few days ago and in an email exchange Friday evening. In the radio segment, he said the coastal survey so far had turned up only one yearling among 57 bears found between Barrow and Kaktovik, 300 miles east. For several years, he said, females have been found with cubs, but the lack of year-old bears implies a high mortality rate for the young. “The cubs appear to be dying at a higher rate than we’re used to,” he told the radio station.
polar bear
Polar bears like this one are excellent swimmers but use floating sea ice as pathways and platforms from which to hunt seals. (Credit: Thomas Nilsen/Photo Researchers, Inc.)

Steven C. Amstrup, the federal biologist who led an analysis last year concluding that the world’s polar bear population could shrink two thirds by 2050 under moderate projections for retreating summer sea ice, is once again in the field along Alaska’s Arctic coast, studying this year’s brood of cubs, yearlings and mothers.

 blog it

No comments:

Post a Comment