Species of animal whose habitat is being hugely affected by climate change in the Polar Regions is the Polar Bear.
A couple of years ago I decided to do some research on Polar Bears and make a documentary about them. I spent time at Sea World learning everything I could about them. Pictures of polar bears show how beautiful they are but to see them up close is an experience I will never forget. Polar bears are hunters and when you are around them you can’t forget this!
So what’s happening to Polar Bears? Over recent times we have seen Polar Bears drowning. This happens because they have to swim further between ice floats. Polar Bears use the ice floats in the water to hunt for food, mainly seals. Polar Bears are strong swimmers and can swim for several hours at a time. As there is less ice the bears have to swim further causing them to get tired. The ice is also thinner so it can’t hold the polar bears weight. Due to an increase in temperature the ice breaks up and melts faster therefore shortening the hunting season for the bears. By having a shorter hunting season means the bears are not getting enough food which they need to store as fat on their bodies to help them survive till the next hunting season. This is a really bad thing for female Polar Bears. The females need lots of body fat to make milk to feed her cubs. If she doesn’t have enough fat to produce milk her cubs could die of hunger. If the mother bear doesn’t have enough body fat she could die to. Also a fertilised egg inside a female will be absorbed into her body if there is not enough body fat. This means the population of polar bears will decrease. Due to warmer temperatures there is not enough snow and ice to make maternity dens for female bears.
Having a shorter hunting season also affects other animals in the region. Polar Bears catch seals and eat only the skin and blubber leaving the rest for other animals in the area to feed on.
Some facts about Polar Bears are:
- They have black skin.
- Their tongue is purple.
- Their hair is actually clear and with a hollow core.
- They can swim for several hours at a time.
- They can smell up to 32kms away.
- Polar bears can live in snow and in warmer temperatures.
- Females grow to about 350kg and males grow to about 700kg.
- A paw of a bear is about 30cms wide (that’s the size of ruler).
If climate change continues polar bears will become extinct by the end of this century. It has been suggested that Polar bears can adapt and live as other bears do but it would take a long time for that to happen and we do not have enough time.
To find out more information about polar bears go to this website. www.polarbearsinternational.org on this website you can track polar bears in Canada, look at pictures and movies but most importantly learn more about Polar Bears.
This is a link to Polar Games and information which is fun: http://www.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/arctic/area/species/polarbear/polar_bear/kids_zone/