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20.000 x 14.000 inches
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Tom Blodgett Jr
Painting - Watercolor
Polar Bears supply food to scavengers such as Arctic Foxes through the remains of the seal, fish, and native deer populations they consume. Through their consumption of arctic seals, these apex predators prevent seal overpopulation, which would reduce the numbers of crustaceans and certain kinds of fish as they are the prey of seals. This would potentially negatively impact the local human populations who also depend upon these fish for food, as well as commercial fishing industries.
Polar Bear population in western Hudson Bay has declined by over 20% in the last 10 years, according to Andrew Derocher, Chair of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group. He points out how sea ice breaking up 3 weeks earlier can make the difference between life and death for the cubs yet born as well. Even if the mother is able to survive with inadequate fat reserves, when cubs are born weaker because their mother was unable to catch just one or two extra seals, it greatly diminishes the cub's chances of survival as well.
December 11th, 2010
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