Posts Tagged 'Andrew Derocher'

Tipping point

Biologists predict Manitoba’s polar bears will disappear within thirty years.

The increasing length of the ice-free season on Hudson Bay will soon reach a tipping point where 20 to 30 per cent of Manitoba’s polar bears will begin dying off every year, according to a mathematical analysis released by Stirling’s colleague, University of Alberta biologist Andrew Derocher, who has studied polar bears for 28 years.

The predictions mean the province that calls itself the polar bear capital of the world may no longer be able to count the iconic Arctic animal as a resident species within a generation.

Groundbreaking, if sad

What if there were an oil spill in the Beaufort Sea?

Scientists do know what happens when bears come in contact with oil. Officials with Indian and Northern Affairs exposed three problem bears to oil and published a report on it in 1981.

They were surprised at the intensity of the polar bears’ reaction, Derocher said. The bears immediately started grooming themselves without stopping. Two of the three died. “They ingested so much oil they basically died of kidney failure,” he said.

“Groundbreaking, if sad,” Derocher called it. But, “we would still be speculating if it hadn’t been done.”



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