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polar bears food web

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what is the food web for polar bears? are any of the animals in this food web also endangered? how can scientist know if polar bears prey is endangered?
Amanda, Gary Wesche's daughter

Cristina Galvan's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2009
Re: New Forum topic: polar bears food web

Hi Amanda!

Great question! I'd really love to answer this question by creating a
drawing. However, since I can't do that - I'm going to encourage you to
take this written description and turn it into a drawing!

Polar bears are seal specialists, meaning they mostly just eat seals.
They mostly eat Ring Seals, because those are the most abundant where they
The seals mostly eat fish, like Arctic Cod. However, they also eat Jelly
Fish. Both the Arctic Cod and jelly fish will eat zooplankton, diatoms
and phytoplankton. The zooplankton will eat the other planktons and
microorganisms in the ocean. It's amazing that plankton are the base of
the food web that can support such giant creatures like polar bears.

Scientist can know if their prey is endangered in the same way that they
know that the polar bears would be endangered. They do samples and
surveys of the animals they sea in the wild. For example, the two
scientists, Katie and Alex, are constantly on lookout for marine birds and
mammals while we are moving. This is to estimate the numbers of species
found in a specific area.

Hope that helps!

Ms Galvan

Cristina Galvan's picture
Joined: Feb 16 2009
Re: Comment for Forum topic: polar bears food web

Hi DJ,

The current models predict that a large percent of the polar bears will
be lost by 2050. However, since some of the sea ice will likely still
be present near Canada it's predicted that the bears might be able to
survive there.

I applied to the PolarTREC program as a way to learn more about current
science, particularly polar science. However, I didn't know that which
types of research projects might be available. When I heard about the
polar bear project, it was sort of like a dream come true! I was
already excited to be part of any project in the Arctic or Antarctic,
but then with a project with polar bears was just even more amazing!

Thanks for the questions,
Cristina Galvan