Less sea ice related to fewer polar bear births

Photo Credit: USGS

In Canada’s Hudson Bay region, less sea ice is leading to fewer polar bear births, according to recent research.

Polar bears rely on sea ice during the hunting season to hunt seals—their main food source. An early ice breakup reduces the hunting season. This is devastating to polar bear populations, as expectant mothers retreat to a den during pregnancy and do not hunt during that time. If they are not able to accumulate enough body fat, they cannot support themselves during that time period.

According to MSNBC:

“Using mathematical modeling to estimate the impact of a shortened hunting season, the research team found that if ice in the Hudson Bay disappears one month earlier than in the 1990s, between 40 and 73 percent of pregnant female polar bears will not give birth to a surviving cub.

If the ice is gone a full two months earlier, between 55 and 100 percent of pregnant bears will not reproduce.”

At All Green, we hope that the sea ice doesn’t continue to melt so the polar bears can survive!

You can read more about this topic here.

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