Reposted from Polar Bear Science
Posted on Might 15, 2021 |
Again in 2017, we famously had Nationwide Geographic falsely blaming a ravenous polar bear on local weather change however since then we now have been inundated (comparatively talking) with tales of ‘wandering’ bears sighted removed from Arctic coastlines. These wandering bears are oddities to make sure however will not be in any means an indicator of melting Arctic sea ice or misplaced habitat, as The Instances (UK) has claimed on this newest instance (Polar bear treks 1,500 miles south as Arctic searching zone melts away).
Much like three different current examples, from 2019 – in Alaska in winter, in Chukotka in early spring, and Siberia in late spring – this month’s instance can’t rationally be blamed on lack of sea ice. This yr’s bear took no less than eight weeks to journey from the Lena River Delta space of the Laptev Sea to a small village in Yakusk, Russia the place it was captured on 11 Might, proven beneath on the map of the route it took included within the story at The Every day Mail (11 Might).
The bear was sighted on a lot of events alongside its good distance south and apparently survived by consuming meals left exterior for canine. It was on the skinny facet and hungry by the point it was caught however positively not emaciated. Apparently, it had a lot of confrontations with native canine in Yakutsk and relatively terrified the locals within the village of Dzhebariki-Khaya when it appeared as a result of it was performing aggressively.
In accordance with the Every day Mail account (which has a number of photographs and a video):
A exceptional polar bear was lastly in captivity tonight after strolling a file 675 miles from its Arctic Ocean habitat.
After a six-week effort, authorities ultimately caught the beast, which appeared livid that its marathon journey had come to an finish.
In a video, the bear is seen angrily shaking its cramped cage.
The bear’s seize got here after it ventured right into a distant Russian village yesterday, inflicting panic among the many locals.
Hunters stored the bear at bay for round eight hours after it out of the blue appeared within the coal-mining village of Dzhebariki-Khaya. Wildlife specialists flew in by helicopter from regional capital Yakutsk to lure the animal right into a cage utilizing seal fats as a bait.
…The bear is already well-known for its epic journey journey – however consultants are not sure what made it embark on this odyssey.The bear’s seize got here a day after it appeared in Dzhebariki-Khaya.
The time-line offered means the bear needed to have left the Arctic coast close to the Lena River Delta someday in mid-March and even earlier. See close-up map of the world beneath.
[As a side note, I was in Krasnoyarsk shown on the map above during the summer of 2014: it’s an astonishingly modern city of over a million people in one of the coldest regions of Siberia. I was there to help measure ancient and historic wolf skulls. See my photo below of a group of feral dogs we encountered which were common throughout the city.]
If the Laptev Sea bear left the coast in the direction of the tip of March, as appears to be the case, that will have been previous to the timing of the delivery of ringed and bearded seals at that latitude. Not solely is late winter earlier than the delivery of seal pups the leanest time of the yr for polar bears however its additionally when sea ice is at its most. At late March, the Laptev Sea was nonetheless socked in with ice 1.5-2.zero m thick (see chart beneath).
The truth that it the bear was stated to be a younger feminine (maybe 2-Four years outdated) tells us most of what we have to know. Younger bears are inexperienced hunters and are sometimes unsuccessful at getting sufficient to eat over the winter when seals are tough to catch. Furthermore, she would have confronted competitors from older, greater bears who would have frequently pushed her away from something she caught or was capable of scavenge (Amstrup 2003; Miller et al. 2006, 2015; Stirling 1974:1196). Such competitors would clarify why she might need turned to land to search for meals, not lack of sea ice from which to hunt.
Which means the ‘scientists’ quoted beneath by The Instances had been making up nonsense for the media, who apparently didn’t assume to query it. ‘Polar bear treks 1,500 miles south as Arctic searching zone melts away‘ (The Instances, UK: 13 Might 2021):
Melting ice cowl pressured the bear into making the journey, scientists stated, which noticed her ultimately arrive on the coal-mining village of Dzhebariki-Khaya within the Yakutia area of Russia, 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It was the farthest south a polar bear has been seen in Russia, Ilya Mordvintsev, a researcher at Russia’s Academy of Science, stated yesterday.
Amstrup, S.C. 2003. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus). In Wild Mammals of North America, G.A. Feldhamer, B.C. Thompson and J.A. Chapman (eds), pg. 587-610. Johns Hopkins College Press, Baltimore.
Miller, S., Schliebe, S. and Proffitt, Ok. 2006. Demographics and habits of polar bears feeding on bowhead whale carcasses at Barter and Cross Islands, Alaska, 2002-2004. Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Examine MMS 2006-14, US Dept. of the Inside, Minerals Administration Service, Anchorage. Pdf right here.
Miller, S., Wilder, J. and Wilson, R.R. 2015. Polar bear–grizzly bear interactions in the course of the autumn open-water interval in Alaska. Journal of Mammalogy http://jmammal.oxfordjournals.org/content material/early/2015/09/10/jmammal.gyv140
Stirling, I. 1974. Midsummer observations on the habits of untamed polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Canadian Journal of Zoology 52: 1191-1198. http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/z74-157#.VR2zaOFmwS4