Polar bear numbers could drop a third by mid-century, according to the first systematic assessment, released on Wednesday, of how dwindling Arctic sea ice affects the world’s largest bear.
There is a 70 percent chance that the global polar bear population –- estimated at 26,000 -– will decline by more than 30 percent over the next 35 years, a period corresponding to three generations, the study found.
Other assessments have reached similar conclusions, notably a recent review by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which tracks endangered species on its Red List.
The IUCN classified the sea-faring polar bear—a.k.a. Ursus maritimus—as “vulnerable”, or at high risk of extinction in the wild.
But the new study, published in the Royal Society’s Biology Letters, is the most comprehensive to date, combining 35 years of satellite data on Arctic sea ice with all known shifts in 19 distinct polar bears groupings scattered across four ecological zones in the Arctic.
So here’s a little preview of Chapter 17 of Take a Stand and as you can see the Shit is hitting the fan! Who’s attacking Skye? Why’s Fru Fru with her? And where’s Jack? This amazing piece was created by the awesomely boss @ziegelzeig thank you so much dude for doing this, the tension in the scene is captured perfectly.
The narwhal, or narwhale (Monodon monoceros) produce highly directional clicks, possibly the most focused sounds of any cetacean. This is likely to reduce echoes from the surface of the water or sea ice, helping the creature to detect prey items that are a long way away. PLoS ONE Photograph: Harvard Medical School/Glenn Williams/Reuters