Polar bears usually have to endure ice-free time on the shore, relying mainly on fat reserves. This period is growing due to climate change, and the ‘masters’ of the Arctic have to starve more and more.
It is predicted that most of the polar bear habitat will be free of ice and 13 of the 19 subpopulations will be on the verge of extinction by the end of the 21st century.
The scientific portal nplus1.ru (with reference to the journal Science) reported about Greenland population’s unusual behavior’s research. Scientists have been studying the group of predators since 2011. Zoologists found that 27 marked adult females do not make long-distance migrations, but stay all year round in the area of glaciers descending into the sea and hunt from them. However, their weight and birth rate are lower than those of their relatives.
Scientists believe that individual polar bears’ subpopulations will be able to survive in the future, but will be small and genetically weakened. It is possible that a group of predators in the southeastern Greenland is already living at the limits of its capacity.
Previously zoologists hypothesized that brown bears will move farther north and breed with polar predators with climate change. After all, more adaptable hybrids will completely replace polar bears.
Text: Angelica Stepanova, Photo: istockphoto.com