National Geographic : 2004 Sep
The natural cycles of interdependent creatures may fall out of sync. J Obbard and Cattet say the link between retreating sea ice and declining bear body mass, though likely, has yet to be conclusively proved. The pair agrees with Stirling on a key issue: If temperatures keep climbing and sea ice continues to melt, the bears of Hudson Bay face a bleak future. "No doubt if these trends continue for the next 50 years, Hudson Bay polar bears will never make a living," says Cattet. "They're toast. They'll either have to learn to hunt caribou or head up to the high Arctic." Tnni It I Arc At AcRA n late January, near the end of my stay at Palmer Station, Bill Fraser and I set out in a Zodiac boat to make the short trip to Torgersen Island. In the four weeks I'd been on the Antarctic Peninsula, I'd seen the Adelie chicks grow from fuzz balls to full-fledged seabirds weighing nearly as much as their par ents. Most of the chicks had creched, wandering away from their nests and hanging out in large packs, not unlike the students at any high school. The chicks hounded their parents con tinually, begging for food.