White Bear was forced to swim for nine days 687 kilometers in the Arctic Beaufort Sea in search of land or ice, an area greatly reduced due to climate change, according to an upcoming print issue of the journal Polar Biology.
"Since the end of August 2008, when the bear was wearing a satellite collar, until the end of October of the same year, the female swam non-stop in the Beaufort Sea 687 miles in nine days and then intermittently swam and walked on the surface of the ice another 1,800 kilometers," — said in a published two years later, the scientific article.
As they note, has long been known that polar bears prefer to live on the Arctic ice, breaking the swimming areas of the high seas between the ice and the land or a single floe. But science has not yet have data on how much can a polar bear swim and the consequences of long swims.
For Alaskan bear extremely long voyage did not pass without consequences. Catching her after a swim in October, they found that she had lost 22% of body weight, as well as my one year old cub.
"Proven ability fact bears swim very long distances can help them adapt to the decrease in the area of Arctic sea ice. However, our observations show that long swim in the cold waters are fraught with high energy losses and endanger their offspring" — they say.
Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) — the largest predator wildlife. Body length 1,6-3,3 m, weight of 400-500 pounds males (sometimes up to 750), females — up to 380 pounds. Bear great swims and dives, swims in the open sea for tens of kilometers, quickly move on the ice. A solitary lifestyle, but sometimes there are groups of two to five animals.
Scientists do not have accurate data on the number of the Alaska-Chukotka polar bear population. In the early 1990s, it was estimated at 5.2 thousand. In Russia, polar bear constantly lives in the area from the Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya to Chukotka. Anything in the world, according to experts, they live about 21 thousand polar bears.