The number of newborn white bears on the island Kongseya (Svalbard) dropped from 25 to 5 for the last three years, since not all females from the surrounding region, due to the late formation of ice time to find a place for their dens, leaving their babies die in the ice, according to Blog of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) three years ago on the island Kongseya watched 25 cubs, and this year — only five. Specialists explain the decline in fertility that, for successful reproduction, bears need to find a good place to den. In order to do this, they had enough time, the ice must be formed by early November — then all pregnant females will have time to walk hundreds of kilometers to the island and find a suitable place for the birth of offspring. Last year, the ice formed only by the beginning of December, so many bears, as scientists assume, were killed in the ice.
"At a time when the sea ice formed later, bears often simply can not get to the island at the right time to find a place for a good den for the winter, where they will breed. Not fully understand how bears can react to it — whether wait until next year to try to still get to the proper place, or try to find a new place to calving "- said the NPI AARSE Jon (Jon Aars), quoted at the post.
Scientists track the number of polar bears in Svalbard with collars equipped with satellite transmitters.
Kongseya island of about 200 square miles — one of the "maternity" polar bears in the Arctic, it is part of the 11 islands of the archipelago of Svalbard.
Currently in the world, according to experts, there are 21-25 thousand individuals bears. Population declining due to climate change, poaching and pollution of the Arctic environment.