Camouflage is failing due to global warming

A common trait of many of the animals of the Arctic is the color white. Rabbits and baby seals are white so that predators cannot see them hiding in the snow. Polar bears and foxes are white so that the rabbits and baby seals can’t see them coming toward them in the snow.

However according to a documentary I saw a couple of days ago, that is changing. The documentary specifically mentioned the Arctic Rabbit which scientists are discovering is still changing its color around the time it has always done, but the ground is not yet covered with snow. This is making them easy prey as they stand out clearly against the green and brown tundra.

The fact that the snow is not returning at the usual time is going to affect all the animals who live in the Arctic and other northern regions, whether predator or prey. Global warming is coming too fast for them to adapt.

A rare few may even leave the Arctic to search for prey elsewhere. A polar bear has been documented as leaving its home near the Arctic Sea and has been seen hiking south. I wonder if she could be called a Snow Bird, as many Canadians are labeled who go south for the winter. I can’t say that blame her, can you?

Wandering Polar Bear heads south again

Wandering Polar Bear heads south again

There’s one polar bear that just can’t seem to get enough of the summer heat. For the second time in a month, the large female bear has frustrated wildlife officials by wandering south of her usual habitat on the Arctic Ocean.

People living along the Mackenzie River thought they had seen the last of the lost polar bear that had wandered near their communities early last month.

But after being trapped and flown more than 300 kilometres from Fort McPherson to the coast, it seems the bear simply turned around and started walking south again.

Now it has been spotted near Aklavik, about 100 kilometres north of Fort McPherson.

James Pokiak, who has been hunting polar bears around Tuktoyaktuk for more than 30 years, told CBC News on Friday the animal probably got used to its southern surroundings.

“Probably the main reason why it’s doing that is it’s kind of habituated now and it must have found some really good food sources. Once an animal gets used to an area, definitely they’re going to get back there.”

Pokiak said wildlife officials should have transported the bear farther north to its normal home on the sea ice.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials said they have no plans to interfere with the bear’s southern journey this time. It’s a decision that has some residents concerned the bear could pose a danger.

“I think it’s considered a dangerous animal to be on the Delta,” said Donald Aviugana, an elder who lives in Aklavik. “You know, there are caribou hunters and people berry picking … you never know what could happen.”

The bear, which is fitted with a satellite collar, will continue to be tracked by wildlife officials.

CBC News