Anthony Pagano/USGS/ AP In this April 15, 2015, photo provided by the United States Geological Study, a polar bear wearing a GPS video-camera collar lies on a piece of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea.
Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018|11:46 a.m.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska– Some polar bears in the Arctic are shedding pounds throughout the time they must be intensifying, a new study programs. It’s the climate modification diet and scientists say it’s bad.
They blame worldwide warming for the diminishing ice cover on the Arctic Ocean that bears requirement for hunting seals each spring.
For their research, the researchers spied on the polar bears by gearing up nine female white giants with tracking collars that had video cameras and the bear equivalent of a Fitbit during 3 recent springs. The bears likewise had their blood monitored and were weighed.
Exactly what the scientists found is that 5 of the bears lost weight and four of them lost 2.9 to 5.5 pounds (1.3 to 2.5 kilograms) each day. The average polar bear studied weighed about 386 pounds (175 kgs). One bear lost 51 pounds (23 kilograms) in just nine days.
” You’re talking a quite remarkable quantity of mass to lose,” stated U.S. Geological Survey wildlife biologist Anthony Pagano, lead author of a new study in Thursday’s journal Science.
Scientist studied the bears for 10 days in April, when they are expected to begin putting on weight so they can later on have cubs, feed the cubs and survive through the harsh winter season. However because the ice is diminishing, the bears are having a harder time capturing seal pups even throughout prime searching time, Pagano stated. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service notes polar bears as a threatened species.
Polar bears hunt from the ice. They often wait on seals to pop out of holes to get air and at other times they swim after seals. If there is less sea ice and it is broken apart, bears need to travel more– often swimming– which has severe consequences, such as more energy use, hypothermia and risk of death, stated University of Alberta biology teacher Andrew Derocher, who wasn’t part of the study.
The study found that on the ice, the polar bears burn up 60 percent more energy than formerly thought, based on these first real-life measurements done on the ice. A few of the bears travelled more than 155 miles (250 kilometers) in about 10 days off the northern coast of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea, Pagano stated. The typical bear female burnt about 13,200 calories a day– six times more than an active human female.
” Just to break even they have to capture a minimum of one seal every 5 to 10 days– and that’s simply to break even,” stated study co-author George Durner, a USGS research study zoologist. “And if they do not do that they’re going to reduce weight.”
The ice cover in the Arctic grows in the winter and melts in the summertime. Due to the fact that of climate modification, the ice is shrinking and thinning more and earlier, he stated.
As the ice decreases, “we are basically pulling the rug out from underneath the polar bears,” Durner stated.
The bear videos revealed scientists all sorts of usually personal aspects of polar bear life, including courtship and hunting. They taped dramatic, and sometimes, bloody seal hunts from the bear’s viewpoint.
” You’re seeing whatever it is seeing,” Durner stated.
Scientist only tracked female bears due to the fact that males cannot keep collars on– their heads are too small and their necks too big– Pagano stated.
Blaine Griffen, a Brigham Young University biology teacher who wasn’t part of the study, applauded the USGS work, noting that previous research studies have looked at resting polar bears and polar bears on treadmills in the laboratory.
In the long run, climate modification “will result in smaller bears that produce fewer cubs and that have lower survival rates,” Griffen stated in an email.
All over the Arctic, scientists have seen proof of weakened polar bears, Pagano said. Last month, a video of a starving polar bear went viral, but it is from a different part of the Arctic and not likely to be connected to worldwide warming, Durner stated.
” If it’s bad for polar bears, it might be impacting us in other methods– us being humans,” Durner said. “It becomes part of a bigger photo.”
Borenstein reported from Washington.