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CNN report buries this good news in paragraph 12 on polar bears: ‘They are doing quite well…Svalbard’s polar bear numbers do not appear to have decreased in the last 20 years’


Emails from the edge: Svalbard’s polar bears are sending messages to scientists

“Because conditions change, (polar bears) will use more time on land and look for different options,” he explains. “They hunt reindeer, they will take more birds and eggs. We have seen that bears are in different areas than they used to be — so much further north.”
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Along with the tracking collar, the Institute weighs bears and takes samples to monitor their health and diet, as well as testing for evidence of pollutants. The collar can also record body temperature, which can tell scientists if a bear has moved inside a den — an indication the animal is going to give birth.

Bears are now swimming as far as 200 kilometers (124 miles) to reach an island den, he adds, something they did not need to do 20 years ago.
“Polar bears are optimistic animals,” Aars says. “It seems that they are quite resistant, and they are doing quite well despite the fact that they’ve lost a lot of their habitat.” Despite the odds, Svalbard’s polar bear numbers do not appear to have decreased in the last 20 years, he says.

That may not always be the case, though. According to NASA, summer ice in the Arctic is shrinking by more than 13% each decade, and this year the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported the second lowest levels of summer sea ice ever recorded. The 14 lowest levels of sea ice have all occurred in the past 14 years, according the NSIDC.