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Polar Bears in Hudson Bay Face Growing Starvation Threat



Polar Bears in Hudson Bay Face Growing Starvation Threat

Polar bears in Hudson Bay, Canada, are struggling to adapt to extended ice-free periods caused by the climate crisis. Despite efforts to diversify their diets, these iconic Arctic predators are at increasing risk of starvation as they spend more time on land due to diminishing sea ice.

Survival Strategies

Traditionally relying on sea ice to hunt seals, polar bears are now compelled to forage on land for alternative food sources during warmer months. A recent study involving 20 polar bears revealed varied attempts to sustain themselves, including consuming grasses, berries, and available carcasses. Some bears even engaged in long-distance swims in search of nourishment.

Despite their ingenuity, the polar bears’ terrestrial foraging efforts fall short of their nutritional needs. The majority of the bears monitored in the study experienced weight loss, indicative of inadequate caloric intake compared to their traditional diet of marine mammals. This finding underscores the urgent need for action to mitigate the impacts of climate change on Arctic wildlife.

A Call to Action

Experts stress that the survival of polar bears hinges on global efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions and adhere to the Paris Agreement’s target of capping global warming at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. As the Arctic continues to warm at an alarming rate, the fate of its polar bear populations—and the broader ecosystem—hangs in the balance.

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