Rising temperatures push polar bears closer to humans

September 17th, 2009 | by Nick |

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…

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