Human-polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns

Animal Welfare Series
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

The behavior and sociality of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been shaped by evolved preferences for sea ice habitat and preying on marine mammals. However, human behavior is causing changes to the Arctic marine ecosystem through the influence of greenhouse gas emissions that drive long-term change in ecosystem processes and via the presence of in situ stressors associated with increasing human activities. These changes are making it more difficult for polar bears to reliably use their traditional habitats and maintain fitness. Here, we provide an overview of how human activities in the Arctic are likely to change a polar bear’s behavior and to influence their resilience to environmental change. Developing a more thorough understanding of polar bear behavior and their capacity for flexibility in response to anthropogenic disturbances and subsequent mitigations may lead to successful near-term management interventions.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Human-polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns
Series title Animal Welfare Series
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-46994-2
Volume 17
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology MFEB
Description 22 p.
Larger Work Title Marine Mammal Welfare
First page 397
Last page 418