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The fleeting melting of ice in the Arctic is causing these animals to not have spaces to hunt, so they have to resort to cannibalism so as not to perish.
The cases of polar bears that kill and eat each other in the Arctic continue to increase, due to the melting of ice and human activity that is ending their habitat, a Russian scientist recently said.
“Cannibalism among polar bears is a long established fact, but we are worried that these cases that used to occur rarely are now quite frequent, ” said polar bear expert Ilya Mordvintsev, quoted by the Interfax news agency.
“We can say that cannibalism among polar bears is increased,” said Mordvintsev, a researcher at the Severtsov Institute for Problems of Ecology and Evolution in Moscow.
In a presentation in the city of St. Petersburg, the researcher suggested that the behaviour may be due to lack of food.
“In some seasons there is not enough food and bears attack bears with cubs,” he added.
The increase in cases may also be due to the fact that there are more people who work in the Arctic and realize this behaviour, he said. “Now we get information not only from scientists but from an increasing number of workers in the oil sector and employees of the Ministry of Defense.”
This winter, the area of the Gulf of Obi to the Barents Sea where polar bears used to hunt, is now a busy route of ships loaded with liquefied gas (LNG), Mordvintsev said, with the consequent destruction of ice in this area, AFP said.
Russian researchers have found an increasing number of species that leave their traditional hunting grounds due to the melting of ice due to climate warming.
In the last quarter of a century, the ice level at the end of the Arctic summer has been reduced by 40% , says scientist Vladimir Sokolov, who predicts that polar bears will have to stop hunting in the icy sea and will be confined to the lakes and archipelagos near the pole.
“The changes have taken place gradually at this time and it seems that they are not temporary, ” said an Alaska environmental consultant, Adrian Gall, research director who was consulted by EL PAÍS.
The arrival of several species that previously lived in other areas, added to the new behaviours produced by climate change have altered the entire Arctic ecosystem.
Source: La Republica