New alarmist heart tug: Polar bear cannibalism

Pictures of cuddly polar bears didn’t work, so now the alarmists have turned to grizzly ones.

The BBC reports,

It is an image that is sure to shock many people.

An adult polar bear is seen dragging the body of a cub that it has just killed across the Arctic sea ice.

Polar bears normally hunt seals but if these are not available, the big predators will seek out other sources of food – even their own kind.

The picture was taken by environmental photojournalist Jenny Ross in Olgastretet, a stretch of water in the Svalbard archipelago.

“This type of intraspecific predation has always occurred to some extent,” she told BBC News.

“However, there are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring, particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change.”

The journalist was relating the story behind her pictures here at the 2011 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, the largest annual gathering of Earth scientists…

Read the BBC report.

Here’s the study abstract:

Observations of cannibalism by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) on summer and autumn sea ice at Svalbard, Norway / Stirling, I. Ross, J.E.
Arctic, v. 64, no. 4, Dec. 2011, p. 478-482, ill.
ASTIS record 75088

We report three instances of intraspecific killing and cannibalism of young polar bears by adult males on the sea ice in Svalbard in summer and autumn. During breakup and melting in summer, the area of sea ice around the Svalbard Archipelago declines to a fraction of the winter total, and in many areas it disappears completely. As the area of sea ice that polar bears can use for hunting declines, progressively fewer seals are accessible to the bears, and therefore the bears’ hunting success likely declines as well. Thus, at this time of year, young polar bears may represent a possible food source for adult males. As the climate continues to warm in the Arctic and the sea ice melts earlier in the summer, the frequency of such intraspecific predation may increase.

7 thoughts on “New alarmist heart tug: Polar bear cannibalism”

  1. Grizzlies, which are really the same species as polar bears, as they can breed successfully (definition of species) also cannibalize young. The biggest threat to an adult female with cubs is a male bear. Just watch your Nature films on PBS. But you have to ignore the AGW spin in nearly every one of these films.

  2. All bears are cannibals on occasion but Polar Bears have always been notorious for it. Typical half butted attempt to pull at some heart strings. To think they call it science!

  3. The first scientific study of polar bear cannibalism would be in ARTIC, Volume 38, No. 4, pages 303-309, published in December of 1985, with the following paper
    Observations of Intraspecific Aggression and Cannibalism
    in Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)

    They have a complete table of recorded events showing that cannibalism, infanticide by mothers, and the stalking and killing of mothers by male polar bears is nothing unusual. And of course, reports of polar bear cannibalism goes back centuries.

  4. Look up the system concept of ‘carrying capacity’. The Aztecs exceeded their carrying capacity and used to throw people in pots with vegetables and get their protein that way. There are too many polar bears because no one is hunting them and more people are moving into their habitation area. Crap science does not prove anything.

  5. H’m. Less sea ice means more open water. More open water means more access to seals rather than less access because the seals have more area where they can surface. Hauled-out seals actually have less area in which to scatter. And how does more open water trap polar bears ashore, exactly?
    But the real snicker here is that the sea ice is increasing rather than decreasing. The whole premise is false. Bears are well known for cannibalism anyway — I learned about it when I was in grade school.

  6. The immaturity and naivete of this “reporter” is astounding. Reports of polar bears being predatory on their own young dates back to when they were first discovered, long before the industrial revolution and the so-called man made climate change that makes the ice caps melt. This is the typical scare the children and old people tactic that the left has used for the past 100 years. Nothing new here, just a way to get attention like the spoiled brats that these morons are.

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