Cannibalism on rise among polar bears

Cannibalism on rise among polar bears

Cannibalism on rise among polar bears

Speaking at a conference in St Petersburg, Ilya Mordvintsev, a senior researcher at Moscow's Severtsov Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution, expressed concern about the changing patterns of behaviour among polar bears.

At the presentation, Mordvintsev suggested the changes could be due to several reasons, including lack of food.

PBI, which is made up of conservationists, scientists, and volunteers, is concerned that if climate change and sea ice loss continue on their current trajectory, two-thirds of the polar bear population could disappear over the next century.

However, bears have caused temporary shutdowns of ice road operations in the past, and in 2011, a security guard accidentally shot and killed a polar bear that was roaming BP's Endicott oil field.

Mordvintsev also argued the rise in figures could be partly thanks to increasing numbers of people working in the Arctic and reporting such patterns, adding: "Now we get information not only from scientists but also from the growing number of oil workers and defence ministry employees".

"In some seasons there is not enough food and bears attack bears with cubs", he added.

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Polar bears use sea ice to hunt seals swimming in the waters, but with a lack of ice, the bears are being forced onto shore where they can not hunt as usual. The development of the popular route known as the Gulf of Ob kept the passage between the Barents Sea and rest of the Antarctica busy with vessels transporting liquified natural gas.

Ice levels are falling due to rising temperatures and industrial companies are moving into the area -forcing polar bears out of their traditional hunting grounds or on to the shore areas where food is scares. It has also significantly upgraded its military facilities there.

PBI has six simple ways anyone can help protect the future of Earth's polar bears, and none of them include a trip to the Arctic.

According to The Guardian and AFP, Vladimir Sokolov, another Russian scientist, says that this year polar bears have mainly been hurt by unusually warm weather on Spitsbergen Island in Norway's Svalbard archipelago, a haven for polar bears. As a result, many polar bears end up malnourished and perhaps having to resort to cannibalism.

Russians living in Arctic settlements have sounded the alarm over dozens of bears entering areas of human habitation, particularly to raid rubbish dumps for food.

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