Quantcast
Connect with us

Cannibalism on rise among polar bears, say Russian scientists

Published

on

Cases of polar bears killing and eating each other are on the rise in the Arctic as melting ice and human activity erode their habitat, a Russian scientist said Wednesday.

“Cases of cannibalism among polar bears are a long-established fact, but we’re worried that such cases used to be found rarely while now they are recorded quite often,” said polar bear expert Ilya Mordvintsev, quoted by Interfax news agency.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We state that cannibalism in polar bears is increasing,” said Mordvintsev, a senior researcher at Moscow’s Severtsov Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution.

Speaking at a presentation in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg, he suggested that the behaviour could be due to lack of food.

“In some seasons there is not enough food and large males attack females with cubs,” he said.

The rise in cases may also be partly due to more people working in the Arctic and reporting such behaviour, he said.

“Now we get information not only from scientists but also from the growing number of oil workers and defence ministry employees.”

ADVERTISEMENT

This winter the area from the Gulf of Ob to the Barents Sea, where polar bears used to hunt, is now a busy route for ships carrying LNG (liquefied natural gas), Mordvintsev said.

“The Gulf of Ob was always a hunting ground for the polar bear. Now it has broken ice all year round,” he said, linking this to active gas extraction on the huge Yamal peninsula that borders the Gulf of Ob, and the launch of an Arctic LNG plant.

Quitting normal hunting grounds

Russia, already a key global oil and gas exporter, is keen to develop its LNG potential in the Arctic. It has also significantly upgraded its military facilities there.

ADVERTISEMENT

Another Russian scientist, Vladimir Sokolov, who has led numerous expeditions by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, based in Saint Petersburg, said this year polar bears had mainly been affected by abnormally warm weather on Spitsbergen Island to the west in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, where there have been no ice floes and little snow.

Russian researchers have recorded growing numbers of polar bears moving away from their traditional hunting grounds as ice melts due to global warming.

ADVERTISEMENT

Over the last quarter-century, Arctic ice levels by the end of summer have fallen by 40 percent, said Sokolov. He predicted that polar bears would  eventually no longer hunt on sea ice and be confined to shore areas and high-latitude archipelagos.

Russians living in Arctic settlements have sounded the alarm over dozens of bears entering areas of human habitation, particularly to raid rubbish dumps for food.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump’s schedule is empty because he’s spending his days chatting with titans of industry, world leaders, and celebrities

Published

on

President Donald Trump isn't jetting off aboard Air Force One every few days to preside over MAGA and KAG campaign rallies anymore, now that his pandemic is keeping much of the nation – including the president – at home. World leaders have stopped calling – at least in person – so his televised Oval Office diatribes have come to an end, at least temporarily.

Trump's calendar has been looking pretty empty these days (not a dramatic change from pre-pandemic days.)

Here's Trump's public schedule for tomorrow. (Public schedules don't include all of a president's activities.) pic.twitter.com/dst1Nybqbg

Continue Reading

Facebook

‘Pelosi’s terrible idea’: Critics denounce proposal to give wealthy a tax cut in next stimulus package

Published

on

"This is almost unbelieveable."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reportedly set to propose rolling back a cap on tax deductions, which would benefit high-earning Americans, as part of the next step of an economic stimulus package that has already poured trillions into the U.S. economy—much of it going to the richest individuals and corporations in the country.

"This is almost unbelievable," HuffPost senior reporter Emily Peck tweeted in response to the news. "Of all the things to do to help people; she wants to... give upper middle class people a tax break."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Never Trump conservative strategist punches back at Laura Ingraham for saying he’s ‘hoping for calamity’

Published

on

On Tuesday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham lashed out at former GOP strategist and Never Trump conservative Steve Schmidt for criticizing President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, accusing him of "hoping for calamity."

Another irrelevant NeverTrump former Republican “strategist” who sounds like he’s hoping for calamity. https://t.co/JrII3n4EkH

— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 31, 2020

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image