Whales not enough sustenance for polar bears in fast-changing climate

first_imgAnimal Behavior, Animals, Arctic Animals, Bears, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Extinction, Extinction And Climate Change, Impact Of Climate Change, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Mammals, Oceans, Polar Bears, Research, Sea Ice, Whales, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by John Cannon Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Scientists believe that whale carcasses may have helped polar bears survive past upswings in temperatures that melted the sea ice from which they usually hunt seals.As the current changing climate threatens to make the Arctic ice-free during the summer, this strategy may help some populations of polar bears to survive.But according to new study, whale carcasses won’t provide enough food for most bear populations because there are fewer whales than there once were, and human settlements, industry and shipping could affect the bears’ access to any carcasses that do wash ashore. Dead whales are a nutritional boon for polar bears, and they’ve likely helped bears survive lean periods during warm spells in the past when much of the Arctic was ice-free. In the future, however, most bears won’t be so lucky, writes a team of scientists in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment on Oct. 9.“[When] we look at the situation now, ecologically, with respect to food sources, it’s a very different picture,” Ian Stirling, a biologist at the University of Alberta in Canada and a co-author of the paper, said in a statement. “The potential of whale carcasses to bail bears out may still be important in a few areas but, quite simply, their overall availability is going to be substantially less than before humans invaded the Arctic.”A female polar bear and cub feed on the remains of a dead whale that washed ashore nearly a year earlier. Image by Ian Stirling/University of Alberta.Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) depend on sea ice, which allows them to stalk seals, their primary prey. But as the climate heats up, sea ice is disappearing, and ice-free Arctic summers could become a reality by 2040.Right now, when warmer temperatures carve up Arctic ice, some bears fast until the ice appears again, unless they come across another source of food. A whale carcass that washes ashore, for example, is a great source of fat and protein, and scientists figure that this strategy may have helped polar bears get through temperature spikes in the past.“I think this is likely one of the most probable explanations for how polar bears made it through previous warm interglacial periods,” Stirling said.The carcass of a bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), weighing in at perhaps 100 metric tons (110 tons) can provide bears with about the same amount of nourishment as 1,300 ringed seals (Pusa hispida), the authors write. Such a windfall can feed dozens of bears, sometimes for years at a time.Polar bears feeding on the carcass of a fin whale in Svalbard, Norway. Image by Daniel J. Cox/Arctic Documentary Project.But do enough whales wash up to sustain polar bears? Stirling and his colleagues wanted to find out. They estimated that a population of 1,000 polar bears would need around 28 whales to die, float to the surface and wash ashore every year to meet their caloric needs. In a place like the Chukchi Sea, which sits north of the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska and has stable numbers of bowhead and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), the team found that there are likely enough that die and come ashore to support that many polar bears.“Scavenging on large whale carcasses is probably important for bears in some areas and may buffer them from sea ice loss,” Kristin Laidre, a marine biologist at the University of Washington and the study’s lead author, said in the statement.“However, carcasses of large whales are not expected to replace seals as nutritional resources as we move towards an ice-free Arctic,” Laidre added. “In most regions, the environmental changes are too large and the whale carcasses are too few.”Polar bears scavenging on the carcass of a dead bowhead whale that washed ashore on Wrangel Island, Russia. Image by Chris Collins/Heritage Expeditions.Most subpopulations of bears don’t live in places where as many whale carcasses appear each year. Whale numbers used to be much higher, prior to the whaling of the past few centuries. And where they do wash up, the carcasses are only valuable to polar bears if they can find them and if bears aren’t kept from accessing them by human settlements, industry or shipping.Those complicating factors mean that the opportunistic strategy that helped polar bears survive ice-free periods in the past might not work in the coming decades.“If the rate of sea ice loss and warming continues unmitigated, what is going to happen to polar bear habitat will exceed anything documented over the last million years,” Laidre said. “The extremely rapid pace of this change makes it almost impossible for us to use history to predict the future.”Dozens of polar bears make their way to the shore to feed on a bowhead whale on Wrangel Island, Russia. In total, more than 180 bears were seen feeding on this single whale carcass in September 2017. Image by Olga Belonovich/Heritage Expeditions.Banner image of polar bears feeding on the carcass of a fin whale in Norway by Daniel J. Cox/Arctic Documentary Project. Citation Laidre, K. L., Stirling, I., Estes, J. A., Kochnev, A., & Roberts, J. (2018). Historical and potential future importance of large whales as food for polar bears. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more