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Uploaded on Thursday 10 Feb 2011 by Peter Prokosch

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus), Svalbard, Norway

Year: 2010 Taken by: Peter Prokosch
In May 2008 the Polar Bear was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in the U.S. The most recognised threat to Polar Bears is ecological change as a result of global warming. Polar Bears live across Northern Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Norway, numbering around 22,000 bears. They depend on sea-ice to hunt and breed and spend much of their time at the edge of the ice pack, where they are most likely to find food. As sea ice recedes further and further from the coastline, Polar Bears are forced to swim farther in order to reach vital food sources, leaving them exhausted and vulnerable. Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska recently tracked a female bear who swam 685km for nine days in order to reach the ice floe. Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/02/2046963/polar-bears-long-swim-illustrates.html#ixzz1DZbFcE3I The following video from Ignatius G. Rigor at the University of Washington demonstrates the extent of ice loss in the Arctic: http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/polar-bears/maps-and-trackers/sea-ice-loss
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Relevant links:
Polar bears on pack ice north of Svalbard with seal kill
Polar bear testing melting sea ice, Svalbard
Polar bear on sea ice, its prime habitat, Svalbard
Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) perched beside the ice, Svalbard, Norway
Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus), Svalbard, Norway
Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus), Svalbard, Norway
Polar bear looking for whale cadaver under water, Svalbard
Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus) observing the ice, Norway
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