Polar Bears at Risk
| Large carnivores are sensitive
indicators of ecosystem health. Polar bears are studied to gain
an understanding of what is happening throughout the Arctic. A polar
bear at risk is often a sign of something wrong somewhere in the
arctic marine ecosystem.
- The area covered by arctic sea ice is
melting at an unprecedented rate. Polar bears need sea ice to access
their food, and to move from hunting grounds to their denning or summer
- Toxic chemicals transported to the Arctic from the south have
long-term effects on polar bear health and longevity.
- Oil exploration in the Arctic affects polar bears by fragmenting
and disturbing their habitat, and by introducing oil and other toxic
substances to their environment.
- Although much of the traditional harvesting in local communities is
sustainable, the main threat to polar bears in some areas is still
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