Keeping Up With the Polar Bears

Polar bears are the largest land carnivores in the world and sit at the top of the food chain in the biologically diverse Arctic. Classified as marine mammals because they spend most of their time in water, they are the most carnivorous of the bear species and spend most of their time on Arctic sea ice looking for seals to feed on fat. Without the Arctic sea ice, polar bears would be hard-pressed to survive.

That’s why the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) attached a video camera to four female polar bears on the sea ice in April 2014, north of Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. The collected data will help researchers understand polar bear behavior and how the bears are coping with Arctic ice loss — a huge issue.

Watch the first USGS video. Warning, some content may be too graphic for some viewers:

 

We deployed two video cameras in 2013, but did not get any footage because the batteries weren’t able to handle the Arctic temperatures,” said Dr. Todd Atwood, research leader for the USGS Polar Bear Research Program. “We used different cameras this year, and we are thrilled to see that the new cameras worked.

The video cameras were on the bears for only 8-10 days and gives an inside look at how polar bears hunt, eat, rest and travel.

If you’re interested, organizations are currently keeping track of polar bears in the wild. Visit the following websites to track the bears yourself!

beartracker by PolarBearsInternational.org

Polar bear tracker by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

 

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This entry was posted in Awareness, Nature.