Climate change has serious consequences for both humans and animals. According to a new study polar bears could end up on the endangered species list because global warming keeps melting the Arctic landscape.
This means that polar bears will have less food to hunt in the waters, which forces them to move on land to search for other sources of food.
Polar bears are made to feed on berries, bird eggs and if they’re lucky, mammals like the caribou.
Karyn Rode, one of the lead authors of the new study, explained that:
“The smaller size and low population density of grizzly bears in the Arctic provides a clear indication of the nutritional limitations of onshore habitats for supporting large bodied polar bears in meaningful numbers.”
Rode added that climate change will make the polar and grizzly bears compete for the food that can be found on land.
Polar bears, just like the grizzlies, are very large animals so they need a lot of energy when they go foraging for food. That is one of the main reasons polar bears prefer to hunt for food in the waters.
The polar bears usually have a diet that provides them with the necessary calories, mineral and vitamins.
According to the wildlife biologists, their recent reports on the ways polar bears feed on land provide significant insight into the ecology of bears and their lifestyle on land.
With this recent study, the researchers explain that they tried to put their findings in a larger context.
Their research is trying to determine whether polar bears will survive only with what they can find on land, despite the nutritional and physiological limitations and the scarce availability of most of the food sources they bears can find on land.
However, the experts say that the evidence so far suggest that if polar bears continue to consume food they find on land, they body condition will begin to deteriorate and many of them will die, all because of climate change that is melting their natural habitat, the Arctic ice.
Robert Rockwell, a biologist at City College of New York, said that he doesn’t really agree with the new study.
Rockwell explained that he has been studying polar bears for many years and has seen them modify their eating habits, accordingly. Polar bears that move on land to hunt are known to eat goose eggs and caribou babies, Rockwell added.
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