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Home* News and Stories → Fewer polar bear dens in Kong Karls Land

Fewer polar bear dens in Kong Karls Land

Kong Karls Land is a group of small islands in eastern Spitsbergen and a very important denning place for polar bears. In the past, up to 50 dens have been found within certain areas.

In recent years, however, the development is more fluctuative, with a negative overall trend. Last spring, only 2 dens were found during a count carried out by the Norwegian Polar Institute. The direct reason appears to be a lack of sea ice. The amount and timing of sea ice has become significantly more variable, with a strong negative trend which is expected to continue in the future.

Sea ice is necessary to reach the islands and to raise the offspring successfully. The femails that used to den on Kong Karls Land may have used other areas for denning this year.

Female polar bear with satellite tracker, attached with collar.

Polar bear

Source: Norwegian Polar Institute

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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