Monday, January 9, 2012

Polar Bear; Lonely nomad of the North

****Rating by; Thor Larsen
This article is about the polar bear and efforts that researchers go through to protect their homes and their lives.

This article is about five men that go north to the ice fields to tag, mark, and record data about the bear. These men include Dr. Albert Erickson who is a polar bear expert from the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Charles Jonkel from the Canadian Wildlife Service, the first mate Birger Sorensen, and two wildlife photographers from World Wildlife Fund, Eugen Schuhmacher and Hans Bopst. They tag the bears and mark them with paint that can be washed out. It only disappears when the fur molts in the spring. This method would protect them temporarily from trophy hunters. They end up stationed at an old hunting shack that was used to hunt polar bears and seals at one time. They find a bear cub that was left in a den and name it Douglas but then later finding out that Douglas is a girl. They capture, tag and release more than 32 bears from the station. They go on to find out the migration patterns of the bears go from west to east and that even though polar bear hunting is illegal in Russia, the hunters that kill the bears around Finland might be shooting the protected bears from Russia.

I have learned that the polar bear is endangered and that the polar bear is a trophy to a lot of hunters because of the fur they have. Also that the numbers in this article are out of date, the number of polar bears left on Earth today could be well under the 20,000 that was stated in his article. Finally that we need to do our part in not polluting the water that they swim in and feed from. In a few years, the polar bear might be extinct and we will never see them again.

tional Geographic, VOL.139, NO.4, April 1971, pg.574, Thor Larson
Tyler Franklin

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