Polar bears in the arctic are suffering from weight loss due to climate change reveals a study conducted by scientists. This is leading to a decline in polar bear numbers as they are not able to hunt due to the energy loss. The study also indicated that polar bears have higher metabolic rates than previously thought, which is affecting their environment for hunting fat-rich prey.
The researchers have been carrying the study since 1980s. The population of polar bears have decreased by about 40% over the past decade. Anthony Pagano, from the University of California, Santa Cruz in the US said that it has been noticed the decline in polar bear survival rates, body condition and population numbers. The study identified the driving forces by studying at the actual energy requirement of polar bears to the frequency of their catching seals. Researchers monitored the behaviour, hunting success and metabolic rates of adult female polar bears when they hunt without their cubs. The results showed that the metabolic rates were 50% higher than the expected rates. Five out of nine bears examined in the study lost their body mass, which means that they are not able to catch fat-rich prey, which their body demands. As the arctic warms and melts, bears have to move a much longer distance for food than earlier with reduced energy level which leads to their weight loss and decline in number.
By: Srishti Sharma