Study Finds Warming Arctic Decimating Harp Seal Populations
Scientists from Duke University and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have conducted a study of the harp seal in northern Canada. Harp seals, the cute and cuddly creatures, have long been hunted for their prized furs. To add to their struggle, the thinning ice is playing havoc with their breeding ground. Female seals depend on stable winter ice to give birth and feed their young in peace. Forced to go to ice closer to land, the baby seals are sitting ducks for arctic predators and human hunters. The seal pups are being forced to fend for themselves before they are ready. As a result, their populations are dropping catastrophically.