Polar Populations Vary - Scary
The number of animals in the Arctic has increased during the past 40 years but those who live closest to the North Pole, such as polar bears, are disappearing, according to a new international study.
The report by the UN and other groups released in Miami yesterday concludes that birds, mammals and fish have increased by about 16 per cent since 1970, due mostly to the impact of hunting restrictions.
The biggest improvement was in the lower regions of the Arctic where the number of animals, especially those that live in the water, are up about 46 per cent. However, scientists are not celebrating the increase. Species in what is called the High Arctic dropped by a quarter between 1970 and 2004 and North American caribou are down by about one-third.
“What we’re seeing is that there’s winners and losers with rapid changes in the Arctic,” Louise McRae, another study co-author and conservation biologist at the Zoological Society of London, said that the drop in the High Arctic was troubling. That is because global warming occurs fastest in the region and is projected to worsen, so the pressure on species will only increase, she said.
There is not enough evidence to blame global warming for the loss of species but what is happening is “in line with what would be predicted with climate change,”
Go and read the report - and note for instance they only give figures for one small population of Polar Bears from western Hudson Bay. Brown Bears have suffered a much larger drop , and I thought they liked it warmer. Well the one on the floor in front of my fire does...