ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The first formal number of polar bears in water between the United States and Russia shows…
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The first formal number of polar bears in water between the United States and Russia shows that they are doing better than some of their cousins elsewhere.
Polar bears are listed as a threatened species because of reduced sea ice due to climate change. But university and federal scientists appreciate a robust and abundant population of nearly 3,000 animals in Chukchihavet off the northwest coast of Alaska, according to a study published Wednesday in Scientific Reports.
“In the short term, it’s great news”, the leading author Eric Regehr, who started the project for more than a decade ago as an American fish and wildlife biologist and last year joined the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center.
In the longer run, it does not mean that Chukchi
“Polar bears need ice to hunt seals, and ice is expected to decrease until the underlying climate change is taken,” Regehr said.
The study shows that there is variation around the world on the effects of isis loss on polar bears, he said on Thursday.
“Some sub-populations are already sinking while others are still doing well,” he said.
Polar bears are classified as marine mammals because they spend most of their life on the sea ice. Lesser sea ice means less productive time to chase repairs, more time on land and longer, energy-saving baths.
The world’s polar bears are divided into 1
9 subdivisions, including two in American waters. In addition to Chukchi, the United States shares the southern Beaufort Sea population with Canada.
Stress in southern Beaufort bears from loss of sea ice was partly because the United States of 2008 declared polar bears a threatened species.
Fewer kids survived in their second year and adult men weighed less and had less skull, found the American geological survey. Researcher Steven Amstrup then said that trends were consistent with changes in nutritional status that are likely to be associated with the reduction of the sea ice.
A recent study by the USGS survey Karyn Rode found that Chukchi bears spend more time on land and have nearly 30 fewer days chasing seals on ice than 20 years ago, Regehr said. However, it did not seem to have affected the population, he said.
Polar bears have a great ability to build fat reserves, says Regehr, and Chukchi’s rich seal population clearly allows bears to compensate for the loss of hunting time. The difference with the southern Beaufort was evident from an aircraft, he said.
“It’s visually striking to me, the difference, to have worked in both places,” Regehr said.
When ice melts, many Chukchi bears reside on Russia’s Wrangell Island, where they sometimes find a fall or valorian injury.
The Chukchi population study used data collected by sampling of 60 polar bears between 2008 and 2016. Some were equipped with GPS transmitters. The data was used in a model designed to estimate the population size of many mobile large carnivores.
Blaine Griffen, biology adviser at Brigham Young University, said the study was good news.
“It’s nice to see there’s at least one population that does better than others,” he said.
The difference can be geography, he said. Chukchihavet has a more extensive continental shelf field with primary productivity that allows the food chain to seal seals.
The research complies with previous studies that suggested Chukchi bears would do better than bear elsewhere, said Griffen.