Climate change threatening polar bears in Canada

 

The polar bears in the Canadian tundra rely on ice when hunting for food – but the shrinking ice floes are driving them on land earlier than usual, to a place where there are no seals to eat.

The polar bears in the Canadian tundra rely on ice when hunting for food – but the shrinking ice floes are driving them on land earlier than usual, to a place where there are no seals to eat.

Polar bears currently outnumber the residents of a small town in Canada’s tundra, but that may change soon. Climate change has sped up the ice melting season in Churchill, Manitoba, a town of about 800 residents — and 900 polar bears.

Experts say the perennial thaw now begins in mid-June, a full 30 days earlier than three decades ago, which means the polar bears spend more time on land. It also means the bears are eating less and birthing smaller cubs that are not as likely to survive.

Scientists like Dr. Steve Amstrup of the conservation group Polar Bears International rank polar bears’ weight on a 1-5 scale where one is starving and five is obese.

Amstrup says most of the bears he’s seen this year are between 2 and 3, which he says indicates a bear that hasn’t eaten in a few months.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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