Sunday, February 02, 2014

Polar bears have always had a varied diet

Polar Bear Blog – Polar Bear Diets and Sharing Seals | Polar Bear Alley – Guide to the Polar Bears of Churchill: "My one difficulty with the articles on this paper is that they make it out as if the polar bears are forced to forage because of a warming climate. In truth, polar bears have always had a varied diet. Yes, their primary focus is seal but they are opportunists and even the early whalers noticed them feeding on grasses and such, even comparing them to sheep grazing in herds. And then they slaughtered them, but that’s a different blog entry.

Anyway, there were many obersvations of summer foraging in the late 1960s near Churchill, as well as the early 1990s and all along. Bears will dive to feed on kelp and algae on the ocean floor. They have always scaled cliffs to raid nests and occasionally attacked walrus. Females emerging from the maternity dens will sometimes graze for a number of days before heading to the seal hunting grounds on the ice. They even make open water seal kills. Its such a shame that all of this creativity is simply lumped into ‘oh look what the poor bears have to do now’."

1 comment:

Doug Proctor said...

It is like the articles that mention the polar bear attacks on people in Churchill as a result of hunger: polar bears are opportunists, and are grumpy after not eating for 3 months, and under stress because there are other polar bears around and they don't like to share territory AND don't like unnecessary fights. And any person who is not killed and eaten by a polar bear attacking him was attacked by a polar bear who was indifferent to winning.

Polar bears have been anthropomorphized and elevated to icon status. Trouble is, urban greens believe in this fiction just as the enviro-movement and social-equality movement believed in the Rousseau-ian "Noble Savage" of the 19th Century. Such fictions, such myths serve not human progress but decline, as they cause activity that does not achieve by effective movement but through associated but indirect consequence, if at all.