Newly discovered Population of polar bears found living with limited ice!
This may bring hope to a declining population as arctic temperatures rise.
A subpopulation of polar bear have been recently discovered in the south eastern arctic region of Greenland. These bears have been out of contact from northern territory bears for 200 years. It is especially interesting for scientists, as these unique bears have been able to survive on limited ice!
Ice is important for polar bears because thats where they find their favorite food, the seal! In particular the ring and harp seal; the ice is their home. So if there's no ice, there's no seal, which makes for a very hungry bear.
During the summer, with limited ice, polar bears go on a fast. They can survive without food between 100 and 180 days! This makes the southeastern arctic interesting for scientists because the area remains ice free for more than 250 days, and yet, this subpopulation of polar bear has survived. Researches think they bears are utilizing ice that has broken off of fjords glaciers, creating a respite and make shift hunting grounds for the polar bears before the summer fast. This remarkable discover shows hope that at least for this small group of bears, who have been able to adapt to the warming climate.
Want to learn more? Check out this fascinating article HERE.