The migration has occurred over the last one to a few generations of the predators, or between 15 and 45 years.
Some polar bear clusters have slowly moved to islands north of Canada, that are retaining the Arctic ice for longer, in response to a brand new scientific examine that predicts the migration, linked to local weather change, would proceed.
The examine revealed earlier this month within the journal PLOS ONE was based mostly on DNA taken from almost 2,800 polar bears in international locations the place the animals stay – the USA, Russia, Canada, Greenland and Norway.
Researchers tracked the shift by means of genetic similarity in bears amongst 4 areas.
Bear clusters from Canada’s jap Arctic space and a marine space off jap Greenland and Siberia are journeying to the Canadian Archipelago, also called the Arctic Archipelago, the place ice is extra ample, the examine discovered.
The migration has occurred over the last one to a few generations of the predators, or between 15 and 45 years, U.S. Geological Survey researcher Elizabeth Peacock, the examine’s lead writer, mentioned in a press release.
The bears are migrating to a area that sits north of the Canadian mainland, near Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. It’s comprised of greater than 36,000 islands and covers greater than 550,000 sq. miles (1.four million sq. km).
The bears select this space as a result of that’s “the place the ocean is extra resilient to summer time soften attributable to circulation patterns, complicated geography and cooler northern latitudes,” Peacock mentioned.
The Canadian Archipelago might function a future refuge for polar bears, in response to the examine.
Since 1979, the spatial extent of Arctic sea-ice in autumn has declined by over 9 % per decade by means of 2010, the researchers mentioned, including that current modeling predicts that almost ice-free summers will characterize the Arctic earlier than mid-century.