Vancouver Polar Bears Tracked with GPS Systems

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With a change in the ecosystem, scientists are using GPS systems to help track polar bears to learn how these animals are handling a host of drastic problems, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Recent studies show that one female polar bear had to swim for nine days straight in search of an ice floe, which puts the species one step closer to the brink of extinction, explained Andrew Derocher, a scientist at the University of Alberta’s department of biological services.

Derocher added that they used GPS tracking systems on bears in the Beaufort Sea in Alaska, where one such bear was forced to swim in the water for 232 consecutive hours in temperatures ranging from 2 degrees C to 6 degrees C. In particular, young bear cubs, elderly polar bears and bears in poor condition are suffering the most from the changes. The polar bear population is dwindling and will continue to do so unless scientists find a solution.

He went on to explain that that polar bears use sea ice as a link from one area to another and that under normal conditions, the animals would not be in open water for more than 100 kilometers. With the melting ice floes, polar bears are forced to spend more time swimming in the water looking for masses of ice, and in the process are losing more weight than they should which is lowering their survival rates and contributing to a massive reduction in the population.

Article Written by Greg Minton

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