Back in May, we reported on the Trumpeter Swan’s recovery from the edge of extinction that was being made a bit easier by a warming Arctic. Now comes word of another Arctic bird that is benefiting from the warming—and at the same time, helping the polar bear cope with climate change.
This time around it is the snow goose—a rather plentiful denizen of the far north.
Snow goose populations have been expanding as of late, and now are so large that some regions of the Arctic breeding grounds are getting a bit overpopulated and are facing degradation from the geese.
At the same time, polar bears are starting to have to come in off their preferred sea-ice hunting grounds sooner, as the ice is breaking up earlier and earlier in the season.
In the western Hudson Bay region, at least, this evolving situation is bringing the two species into ever-more contact. And the polar bears are finding snow geese eggs to be an excellent source of nutrition. (more…)