The problem of climate change and global warming is an increasingly palpable reality and one of the regions that suffers the most from its consequences is the Arctic North Pole. The ice is already melting in this area and, as a consequence, the animals that depend on it are suffering serious damage to their living conditions.
For these species, adapt to survive the new conditions or become extinct are their two alternatives. In this AgroCorrn article we see the main endangered animals of the North Pole .
The difficulties of surviving at the North Pole
The melting of the North Pole caused by increasing global warming is one of the main threats to the animals of the North Pole . The survival or not of the species depends to a great extent on their abilities to adapt to the new conditions that the melting of the North Pole leaves them . Animals that depend on ice to thrive are harmed, both by the loss of their habitat and by the alteration of the balance that exists in the food chain.
Thus, for example, a species such as the polar bear, which depends on the icy surface, suffers greater mortality from its offspring because they must make longer swimming paths and do not have the ability to swim in those conditions. Also, they have more difficulty feeding, since it is more difficult for them to find possible prey in these frozen regions.
Another factor that decreases with the reduction of frozen surfaces is the reproduction and resting capacity of the species. For example, walruses must seek refuge in more limited regions of the coast. In addition, many of these shelters are more susceptible to being attacked by predators such as humans . To this must be added the great problem posed by these long journeys for animals as large as walruses.
Polar bear (Ursus maritimus), one of the North Pole’s most endangered animals
As we said, polar bears depend completely on the ice at the North Pole to develop their life and, furthermore, without access to the frozen surface, these animals would have very little chance of hunting their favorite prey, the seals. In some places in Manitoba, Canada, polar bears spend more time waiting on the shoreline, because Hudson Bay (Northeast Canada) takes longer to freeze each year. This causes bears to occasionally roam cities among humans, causing them to be shot down at times. Due to factors such as these, since 2008 polar bears have been included in the lists of endangered species .
Learn more about this topic in this other article about The polar bear is in danger of extinction and with our video on the subject.
Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus)
Another of the endangered animals of the North Pole is the Arctic fox, also known as the white fox.
The main food of arctic foxes are mammals and birds, but they usually feed on the carrion left by polar bears. With which fewer polar bears mean less food available for polar foxes, which is why they must look for alternative sources to feed. In addition, increasingly warmer temperatures are causing red foxes to expand their habitat or territory to arctic regions, which represent a competition for arctic foxes in terms of food sources. Although it is not on the official lists of endangered species, it is part of the list of threatened species offered by the Center for Biological Diversity .
Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas)
This species is in danger of extinction because the Arctic cod , its main food source, has reduced its populations. The Arctic cod feeds on crustaceans, which in turn feed on algae from the ice, therefore, the thaw brings with it a decrease in these algae, and by the food chain of the rest of the species.
Another drawback faced by beluga whales that live in Cook’s Inlet is that they must learn to avoid maritime traffic and cope with industrial pollution from the Anchorage, Alaska Stream. Since 2008, belugas have been on the list of endangered species and are currently only estimated between 300 and 400 in nature.
Learn more about endangered beluga whales in this other AgroCorrn article.
Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)
The Pacific walrus is an animal that lives exclusively in the Arctic seas . They are large species with long ivory tusks that must emerge out of the water when giving birth, suckling their young or resting. Walruses , unlike seals, do not swim continuously and ascend ice rafts from one feeding area to another. This species is threatened by hunting for its ivory tusks and blubber and by oil and gas exploration and ocean pollution that damage its habitat. The threats are so great that in 2008 it was requested to be included in the list of endangered species.
If you want to know more about the species that live in this habitat, we recommend you read this other AgroCorrn article on What animals live in the North and South Pole .
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