30 Apr '14, 1pm

Recent #polarbear expedition shows little ice and few mother bears:

A crew member tries to break ice off the ship’s deck with a sledge hammer. Seawater froze quickly on exposed surfaces. WWF scientists spent two weeks in April on a research expedition to the islands of Arctic Norway to study polar bears and their habitat. Aboard a former icebreaker ship they cruised along the shores of Svalbard, its snow-covered mountains flanking the shores in sharp contrast to the dark water. They endured storm-tossed seas and frigid temperatures, but were struck most by the dramatic lack of sea ice and scarcity of mother bears with cubs. By helicopter, the team conducted aerial surveys of polar bears and any females emerging from denning sites. They also placed tags on captured bears’ ears that track their location to determine when they go into dens. And they collected biological samples from bears to learn more about their health. They gathered data o...

Full article: http://worldwildlife.org/stories/polar-bear-expedition-fi...

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