Canada nature

Articles in ‘Canada nature’

Rising temperatures push polar bears closer to humans

September 17th, 2009 Polar bears are coming into increasingly conflict with humans as melting ice is pushing them to search for food on land. “Hungry bears don’t just lie down – they go looking for an alternate food source,” says zoologist Ian Stirling at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. “In many cases this brings them into human settlements and hunting camps.” The team found that the number of bears reported as attacking humans, homes and hunting camps in Churchill on the shores of Hudson more than tripled between 1970 and 2005, from 20 to 90 per year, despite a 20% fall in the bear’s population since 1980. The researchers note that shorter the sea ice season, the greater the reports of problem bear activity. New Scientist I’m sure this is true, but I wonder if humans are also occupying more and more territory and so increasing the amount of potential contact…

Ecological changes in the Arctic

September 11th, 2009 A review article in this week’s Science on the impact of climate change on the Arctic notes that ecosystems are changing fast, and that could portend more shifts in other parts of the world. The authors list numerous examples. Ringed seal pups in the Canadian Arctic have lost birth lairs to early spring melts, while warmer winters have allowed reindeer in Norway to thrive. Arctic fox populations are dropping as red foxes move north. And caribou calving has fallen out of sync with peak plant growth in Greenland, possibly explaining why calf survival has declined. More here

Grizzily bears hungry

September 11th, 2009 Worrying news from Canada’s West coast. Grizzily bears seem to be disappearing probably starving to death because of the massive drop in salmon numbers this year. We may be witnessing the collapse of an entire and until recently pristine ecosysem. Treehugger The Globe and Mail writes: “Reports from conservationists, salmon-stream walkers and ecotourism guides all along British Columbia’s wild central coast indicate a collapse of salmon runs has triggered widespread death from starvation of black and grizzly bears. Those guides are on the front lines of what they say is an unfolding ecological disaster that is so new that it has not been documented by biologists.”

North American wildlife news 2

August 20th, 2009

North American wildlife news 1

August 7th, 2009