Polar Bears Unlikely To Survive On Low-Fat Terrestrial Diet: Study

April 2, 2015 11:32 AM

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Polar Bears Unlikely To Survive On Low-Fat Terrestrial Diet: Study

The loss of ice in the Arctic, which recently recorded its lowest annual maximum, is not only contributing to the rise in sea levels, it is also destroying the frozen habitat of polar bears -- forcing them on the land to supplement their traditional diet of marine animals. However, according to study published in the latest issue of the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, this terrestrial diet, which consists largely of berries, birds and eggs, is not enough to replace their current diet of fat-rich marine mammals such as seals.

“In the regions where terrestrial feeding by polar bears has been documented, polar bear body condition and survival rates have declined,” Karyn Rode, a wildlife biologist from the U.S. Geological Survey and lead author of the paper, said in a statement. “The reports of terrestrial feeding by polar ...

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