Tuesday, March 22, 2005

ABC News: Grizzlies Encroaching on Polar Bear Country

ABC News: Grizzlies Encroaching on Polar Bear Country

March 16, 2005 — The polar bears of the far north, already suffering from food shortages that appear to be the result of global warming, may have to make room for a fierce competitor. Grizzly bears, among the baddest dudes on the continent, may be invading the high Arctic.

If so, it's hard to say who will come out on top because polar bears aren't exactly slouches when it comes to defending their turf.

But it will mean a resource that is already in decline, mainly seals, will be in even greater demand as these behemoths fight it out on the frozen shores of islands that are so far north that the northern lights are actually to the south.

We're talking 74 degrees north and above, so far up there that it's really on top of the world. Until the last few years it was an endlessly frozen landscape, but warming temperatures have reduced the floating ice that normally affords polar bears a base from which to capture seals when they surface for air. Some researchers believe the giant white bears are already in decline, and face a possibly bleak future.

So the last thing they need is competition.

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