Incredible story: this secret polar bear population was found in an impossible place
These polar bears in Greenland have been discovered in an impossible habitat.
A secretive population of polar bears in Greenland has been discovered in a seemingly impossible habitat that lacks the floating platforms made of sea ice that the polar bears use to hunt for most of the year.
The unusual group, previously thought to be part of another nearby population, has been hiding in plain sight for hundreds of years.
Bears live on steep slopes, long and narrow coastal bays where glaciers meet the ocean, and prey on patches of glacial ice that break through these bays.
The new discovery suggests that at least some polar bears may be adapting to sea ice that is disappearing as the climate worsens, the study says.
However, this is not a silver bullet for generics.
“Glacial ice may help a small number of polar bears survive longer in a warming climate, but it’s out of reach for the vast majority of polar bears”, said Christine Leidre, a wildlife researcher at the University of Washington’s Center for Polar Science.
Until recently, scientists have identified 19 known subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) living in the Arctic region. One such population covers 1,988 miles (3,200 kilometers) of the east coast of Greenland.
But when the researchers took a closer look at this group to keep track of their numbers, they realized that the bears are actually made up of two completely different populations.