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Polar bear swims 700km (434m) in search of ice

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Polar bear swims 700km (434m) in search of ice
January 26, 2011 08:22PM
Polar bear swam nine days straight in search of ice
By Bradley Bouzane, Postmedia News January 26, 2011 7:30 PM
New findings published recently that showed a female polar bear in the Beaufort Sea swam nearly 700 kilometres over nine straight days in search of ice paint a picture of a species on the brink, said one Canadian polar bear expert.

"The problem now is as the ice has changed, the ecosystem is becoming much less predictable for the bears and we're seeing more bears swimming greater distances and this doesn't bode well for the population," said Andrew Derocher, who works in the University of Alberta's department of biological sciences.

"The cost to the population is huge. We're potentially at least losing cubs and bears are going to end up in poorer condition . . . and they're less likely to survive or reproduce."

Derocher reviewed the paper for the U.S. Geological Survey before it was published in Polar Biology. The findings, based around GPS tracking of a bear in the Beaufort Sea in Alaska, were the centre of a BBC report this week.

The report said the bear was in the water for 232 consecutive hours in temperatures ranging from 2 C to 6 C.

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Polar+bear+swam+nine+days+straight+search+Report/4174487/story.html
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