Coming Soon: Drastic Human Intervention to Save Polar BearsBy Michael Frank on February 7th, 2013
The threat of Arctic sea ice retreat is so dire that 12 scientists from Arctic countries are for the first time suggesting that some of the 19 polar bear populations in Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Norway, and Russia, some 25,000 animals in total, will have to be fed by humans in order to keep them alive during an extended ice-free season; some bears may have to be placed in temporary holding compounds until it is cold enough for them to go back onto the sea ice. In worst-case scenarios, polar bears from southern regions may have to be relocated to more northerly climes that have sufficient sea ice cover. In worst-case scenarios, the scientists say that polar bears with little chance of being rehabilitated or relocated may have to euthanized. This crisis management plan for polar bears as Arctic sea ice disappears is laid out this week in an article in Conservation Letters, the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology, and it’s tough reading. But the article makes it clear that this is not about ignoring the underlying issue: greenhouse gases. Rather, it’s a pragmatic approach to the problem, the way the U.S. already makes sure that elk populations don’t starve with supplemental feeding. Via Yale 360.
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Tags: endangered species