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Since We Last Spoke: Polar Bears

Updates to stories from the Pacific Standard archive.
Polar bears Leaman_411

Climate change has forced diet changes on many animals. As Zac Unger reported for Pacific Standard's January/February 2013 issue, polar bears have now learned to eat caribou, goose eggs, and berries on land.

So the bears of Canada's Hudson Bay must have been surprised this summer to receive a build-up of ice along the western edge of the bay. That new ice provided local bears with more territory on which they could venture out to hunt fat seals that would normally avoid swimming too close to shore.

The hunting seasons and diets of polar bears have been of intense interest to scientists recently. Because of climate change, bay ice is disappearing weeks sooner now than it used to, forcing bears onto land earlier.

A version of this story originally appeared in the December/January 2018 issue of Pacific Standard.