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Climate Change Forcing Polar Bears To Forage Garbage Dump For Food: Study


The U.S. has classified the once-abundant polar bear as threatened Source: Shutterstock More than 50 hungry polar bears invaded the Russian coastal village of Belushya Guba over a period of three months, attracted by the local dump. Some bears entered homes and businesses by ripping doors off hinges and climbing through windows. These invasions have been steadily increasing in Arctic settlements, though this case, in the winter of 2019, was one of the worst. While few people have been attacked, the number of dead bears has climbed.

A new paper published by Thomas Scott Smith, who teaches Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation Programme at Brigham Young University, Utah, in the US, reveals how human food and waste are becoming a major threat to polar bear existence – and jeopardize human safety. Smith is a biologist who has studied bears for the past 30 years.

Over millennia, polar bears evolved an ability to locate food in the harsh Arctic climate. Now, as climate change causes a loss of sea ice, their foraging season is shorter and they’re forced onto land far more than ever before. Once on land, bears’ noses draw them into villages where they find ample unsecured food.

Masters of scent […]

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