Posts Tagged ‘polar bear’

Good News for Polar Bears: Goose Eggs on the Menu

Friday, November 5th, 2010

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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…)

US judge orders Obama administration to clarify polar bears’ Bush-era ‘endangered’ status

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
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By Matthew Daly

WASHINGTON — A federal judge ordered the Obama administration on Wednesday to review whether polar bears, at risk because of global warming, are endangered under U.S. law.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan wants the Interior Department to clarify a decision by the administration of former President George W. Bush that polar bears were merely threatened rather than in imminent danger of extinction.

Sullivan’s request, made at a hearing Wednesday in federal court, keeps in place the 2008 declaration by the Bush administration.

Former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said in May 2008 that the bears were on the way to extinction because of the rapid disappearance of the Arctic Sea ice upon which they depend. But he stopped short of declaring them endangered, which had it been declared would have increased protections for the bear and make oil and gas exploration more difficult.

Scientists predict sea ice will continue to melt because of global warming. (more…)