The Polar Press, the leading polar bear paper, recently ran this uplifting headline: “Ice-starved polar bears find finless food far from flows.”
In related news, the Daily Caribou News Gazette, the paper of record for arctic ungulates, had this tragic headline: “Ice-starved polar bears find finless food far from flows. RUN!”
Also on arctic news stands this week, the Seal and Sea Lion Standard, the largest weekly news magazine amongst pinnipeds and similar semi-terrestrial sea mammals, led with: “Top 10 recipes for cooking caribou.” It was the most popular cover since last year’s fashion issue, headlined, “Gortex: Inuit. Sealskins: Outuit.”
Wise-cracking aside, it turns out receding ice may not spell doom for polar bears. Scientists have long thought that the bears spent the summer months living predominantly on fat reserves from the winter seal season, when they hunt on the sea ice. Linda Gormezano, an ecologist with the American Museum of Natural History, has presented new evidence showing polar bears are adapting successfully to longer summers on land by eating caribou, geese, and goose eggs.