Are polar bears global warming’s assured victims?
It is difficult to think of the North Pole and its surrounding areas without its most impressive denizen, the massive polar bear, but this might soon be a reality because the future of polar bears is assuredly very bleak. Estimates about the exact number of these majestic creatures left in the wild vary but it is believed that there are about 25,000 of them alive. While more than half of them live in the Canadian Arctic, the remaining numbers are distributed in neighboring areas.
The future of polar bears is very precarious because of many reasons, all of which are due to global warming. We generally speak of global warming and climate change in terms of how it affects humans. However, what many people do not realize is that many species of animals and plants are facing destruction at cataclysmic levels because of the changes brought upon by us and out unbridled greed for the earth’s non-renewable natural resources.
Polar bears are the monarchs of their frozen world but the fact is that they are highly dependent upon their ecosystem which is increasingly becoming very fragile. These magnificent beasts travel over huge distances in search of food. They travel over ice and water almost effortlessly.
They are extremely skilled hunters who subsist on seals that live in polar areas. The steady warming of the earth has affected the polar caps as well, and this has reduced the territory available to these animals. They are finding it increasingly difficult to hunt their prey since they keep entering into each other’s territories, which is very difficult for these animals.
The other problem affecting the future of polar bears is that ice is now forming far later than before. This actually means that these animals have less time to hunt for animals and build the layer of fat that enables them to survive the bitingly cold winters of this area. The numbers of seals are also decreasing because the seas are becoming warmer and the availability of certain species of fish is decreasing.
The depletion of available food has resulted in a higher mortality rate of these animals. According to scientists, the mortality rate of newborns has increased almost 50 percent in certain areas.
The lack of food is causing polar bears to increasingly get into confrontation with humans. This invariably does not end well for the animal and its population drops further. It is also believed that they will try to encroach into areas where grizzly bears live.
It seems very unlikely that the future of polar bears is going to look up since human beings are making very little effort to change the way in which they live. As a matter of fact, people are developing the frozen world where these animals live in an effort to extract the immense natural wealth that exists here. Humans will have to make a lot of changes in how they live in case they have to give these animals a chance of survival.