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  • U.S. study says two-thirds of polar bears will be gone by 2050

    The U.S. Geological Survey released a grim study of polar bears on Friday, concluding that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be gone by 2050. Polar bears in Alaska and other areas outside the very far north will be most out of luck, according to the study; it forecasts that precisely zero polar bears […]

  • Chagrin and Bear It

    Melting sea ice makes polar bears starve, drown Travel agents hawking trips to the Arctic have been boasting lately of an increased likelihood that tourists will see polar bears — because starving bears are encroaching on human settlements to scavenge for food. Polar bears have traditionally used ice floes to hunt seals, their favored prey […]

  • Polar Apposites

    U.S.-Russia treaty will protect polar bears A polar-bear-protecting treaty between the U.S. and Russia was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives this week. It would prohibit the possession, sale, and purchase of polar bears or parts thereof (ew!), and also set quotas on hunting by Native populations. Currently, Native Americans are allowed to hunt […]

  • Let’s Feed Them Some Oil Execs

    Hungry polar bears eating each other We can’t think of anything funny to say about this: polar bears, deprived of their natural food by longer seasons without ice, may be turning to cannibalism. In the journal Polar Biology, American and Canadian scientists reviewed three cases of polar bear cannibalism in early 2004 in the Beaufort […]

  • Scientists confirm existence of grizzly-polar bear hybrid

    Weird:

    A DNA test has confirmed what zoologists, big-game hunters and aboriginal trackers in the far northern reaches of Canada have imagined for years: the first documented case of a hybrid grizzly-polar bear in the wild.

    That's right, folks, a polar bear and a grizzly bear have mated and produced offspring -- a bear mutt of sorts. As the polar bear's habitat disappears (thanks, global warming!) and the range for both bears continues to overlap, will we see more hybrids?

    I certainly hope so! But only if I get to be on the naming committee. Check out these proposed monikers (emphasis mine):

    [Big game hunter Jim] Martell told the newspaper he has dubbed the hybrid creature a "polargrizz." [Polar bear biologist Ian] Stirling said others in his office have been tossing around in jest possible names for the hybrid: a "pizzly" or a "grolar bear." One colleague said they ought to call it "nanulak," combining the Inuit names for polar bear -- "nanuk" -- and grizzly bear, which is "aklak."

    Can we call it a "pizzly"? Pretty please?!

  • Polar bears drowning

    I thought this new Greenpeace commercial was kind of a cutesy joke. But no: Turns out polar bears really are drowning.

    (Yeah, it's subscription only, so there's an excerpt below the fold.)

  • The Polar Distress

    Grizzly bears encroaching on polar bear habitat Polar bears have been having a rough time of it lately, what with global warming melting their habitat and PCBs tainting their food sources. Now they’ve got a new problem to worry about: Grizzly bears have been spotted as far north as Canada’s Melville Island, 600 miles inside […]

  • Bye Polar

    Polar Bears Are in Peril The latest charismatic megafauna on the chopping block of the modern age is the polar bear. Despite the work of dedicated conservationists, polar-bear populations are declining and experts worry they may disappear entirely within decades. The problems are manifold. For one, toxic chemicals from industrial countries tend to settle in […]