The first census of the polar bear living around the Sea of Chukchi, which extends to Alaska and eastern Siberia, suggests that the population has been stable and healthy over the past decade.
This is a good contrast to the problems faced by polar bears in other Arctic regions, as their sea ice habitats are decreasing. The loss of sea ice is also the question of the Sea of Chukchi, but almost 3,000 bears in the region seem to not feel so tense.
"Despite the fact that about one month is less time at favorite sea ice spots for hunting compared to 25 years, we found that the sub-population of the Cukci Sea was well done from 2008 to 2016," said Eric Regehr, a biologist at the University of Washington Polar Science Center, said today in a report to reporters.
Regehr is the lead author of a study on the list published in the journal Open Scientific Reports. The census, conducted by researchers from UV and federal agencies, chronicles a worthwhile observation of ten years – and it is concluded that Buckeye's bears seem better reflected than their relatives elsewhere.
"The loss of sea ice due to climate change remains a major threat to the species, but, as this study shows, there are variations when and where the effects of ice ice loss appear," Regher said.
Conservators recognize 19 different subpopulations of polar bears, ringing the Arctic from Alaska to Russia to Greenland to Canada. Only two of these subpopulations enter the US territory: bears in Russia and Russia, Cucchi, and southern Beaufort bears stretching across Alaska and northwestern Canada.
"The sub-population of the southern Beaufort has to be well studied, and growing evidence suggests that it works poorly because of the loss of iceberg," Regehr said. They are not the only bears who are in danger: Last year, a photo of a lost polar bear near the island of Baffin in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut became viral and drew attention to the state of this subpopulation.
In contrast, the Sea of Chukchi is a "very rich area," said Regher.
"The majority of the Nutcracker is shallow, with the waters rich in nutrients coming from the Pacific, which leads to high biological productivity and, which is important for polar bears, a lot of seals," he explained.
This area is also heavily smuggled with whales, and ground carcasses provide food for the seal of the sea during the Arctic summer when the ice is thawing.
Regehr and his colleagues collected data for their research, studying and marking about 60 polar bears in the period from 2008 to 2016. GPS readings were entered into a computer model to evaluate the total size of the subpopulation. The assessment of bear health is based on data on reproduction rates and survival rates.
The assessment also collected measurements of body fat of the bear, as well as reports from hunters from the Native Alaskan. "It was important that our sciences along with observations and expertise of people living in the land of polar honey throughout the year and understand animals in different ways," said Regehr.
In 2008, polar bears were listed as endangered within their ranks under the US Endangered Species Act, due to the projected reduction in the number of inhabitants in relation to ice ice losses.
Today, the joint US-Russian commission is responsible for managing the sub-cultures of the Cukci Sea. Thanks to a new published assessment, the Commission has raised the Chukchi Sea food quotas that will last from 58 to 85 bears next year. It's a good news for the Alaskan tribe that eats the flesh of polar bears and uses leather for handicrafts.
Regehr said scientists will continue to monitor the situation in Cukci, affecting the consequences of global climate change.
"These findings are good news for now, but this does not mean that the bears in Cukèevo Sea will eventually have no loss of ice," he said. "Polar bears need ice for seal hunting, and ice is expected to decline until the basic problem of climate change is resolved."
In addition to Regehr, authors of papers in the scientific reports "Integrated population modeling provide the first empirical estimates of vital rates and the number of polar bears in the Cukec Sea" include Nathan Hostetter, Ryan Wilson, Karin Rode, Michelle St. Martin and Sarah Converse.