Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Indicator #01, Polar Bear

Polar bears, Ursus maritimus, are distributed throughout the ice-covered waters of the circumpolar Arctic. This top-level predator is of interest because it is an iconic species of the Arctic and one that is particularly vulnerable to changes in sea ice. They are fundamentally dependent upon sea ice as a platform for hunting seals, travelling, finding mates, and breeding. Changes in the distribution, duration, and extent of sea-ice cover and in the patterns of freeze-up and break-up have the potential to significantly influence the population ecology of polar bears


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