Polar Bears Suffering From 'High-Energy, High-Fat Lifestyle' Amid Changing Climate

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But they found that polar bears need to eat more than 12,000 calories per day, which showed that they have a higher metabolism than was earlier thought.

The scientists also analysed blood and urine samples taken at the beginning and end of each bear's 8-11 day journey across the ice fields to ascertain the animal's metabolic rate.

Retreating ice sheets, a result of climate change, are forcing the bears to travel greater distances to find the food they need, which in turn causes them to expend more energy than in the past, the study said. They also found among nine, four bears' weight decreased by 10 percent, 44 pounds in just 100 days. One bear lost lean...

The video collars provided remarkable footage of polar bears' feast-or-famine lifestyles. But the new information on how dwindling sea ice affects the health of female polar bears could be important for conservation efforts. This means that any food they were able to scavenge on land during this time was simply not enough.

Polar bears are starving during their prime hunting period as Arctic ice melts because of climate change, according to a USA study published Thursday that analysed the animals' metabolism for the first time.

What makes it even more alarming is the fact that the bears were struggling to find food at the start of the period from April through July when these animals catch most of their prey and put on most of the body fat that help them sustain throughout the year. Even today, in the middle of the bitter cold Arctic winter, satellites show there is about 770,000 square miles less sea ice than the 1981 to 2010 median (That's an area larger than Alaska and California combined). They were living on the sea ice of the Beaufort Sea, off the northern coast of Alaska. "Bears used sit-and-wait tactics to hunt seals 90 percent of the time, and stalking comprised the remaining 10 percent of hunts", write the study's authors. Scientists tracking bears' hunting patterns have concluded as sea ice disappears, the bears will have fewer easy kills and will spend more time swimming.

"They are spending so much energy walking to find their prey that the energy gained once they find a seal is not enough to maintain their weight", Williams said. These trackers included accelerometers and GPS-equipped video cameras to document the bears' activities.

A big difference Friday plus more snow on the way
High pressure will build back in later in the day and move off the coast by Tuesday making for fair skies through the period. Clair County International Airport in Kimball Township. "We had 3.86" of precipitation, which is 0.63" above normal.

'We found a feast and starvation lifestyle - if they missed out on seals it had a pretty dramatic effect on them, ' said a biologist who led the research.

Researchers followed nine polar bears over a three-year period.

Since then, however, the nature of threats facing polar bears has changed, and the biggest threats are now the result of human activities that are changing the climate. Data shows from 2004 to 2007 polar bears population in the Beaufort Sea has been gone down by 40 percent.

Polar bears hunt from the ice.

Mr Pagano and his collaborators monitored the behaviour, hunting success and metabolic rates of bears as they hunted on the sea ice in the spring. "And if they don't do that they're going to lose weight".

But understanding the exact relationship between the loss of ice and the plight of the polar bear has been a little murky because it's hard to track the movements of these enormous apex predators in remote regions.

Polar bears have been listed as endangered species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the protection program repeatedly emphasizes the importance of climate change. During that time the bear crossed into Canada, having walked almost 270 miles (430 kilometers) since her collar had been applied.